Fifth inmate dies in a Turkish prison in a month

Yonca Akıncı, who has been incarcerated for four years at the Şakran Prison for Women in İzmir province, died on Monday due to medical complications arising from a hunger strike, Bianet reported.

An autopsy was performed at the Council of Forensic Medicine, after which her body was sent to her hometown of Ağrı for burial.

Akıcı had been on a hunger strike since March 1 and was reportedly in intensive care at Çiğli State Hospital.

Prisoners and pro-Kurdish politicians who are currently on hunger strikes seek an improvement in the jail conditions of outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party leader Abdullah Öcalan, protesting Öcalan’s inability to speak with his lawyers, referring to it as his “isolation.”

Öcalan has been jailed on İmrali Island near İstanbul since 1999.

The co-chairs of four Kurdish political parties came together on March 26 in Diyarbakır to call for an end to political suicides in Turkey’s prisons after four Kurdish inmates took their lives in a week.

Twenty-four-year-old Medya Çınar killed herself on March 25 in Mardin’s Nusaybin district.

Zehra Sağlam, who had been behind bars for three years, died by suicide in Turkey’s eastern province of Erzurum on March 24.

Zülküf Gezen, who had been sentenced to 104 years in prison in 2007 on charges of killing one police officer and injuring five others in a bomb attack in Diyarbakır, took his own life on March 18.

Ayten Beçet died by suicide on March 23 in a women’s prison in Kocaeli’s Gebze district.

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