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250th day of Behiç Aşçı’s hunger strike

Istanbul Indymedia | 13.12.2006 22:27 | Repression | World

Please act urgently and spread the word.

We, the İstanbul Indymedia volunteers, want to get your attention for the ongoing isolation torture in Turkey. A lawyer, Behiç Aşçı, protesting the silence of the state as well as NGOs and public is going to die for he is on a hunger strike. All of us who have been silent regarding the case will bear the burden of this action if Aşçı turns out to be just another in more than 120 persons who died/was killed in protest of F-type prisons since 1996 in Turkey. On 13th of December, it was 250th day of Aşçı’s strike, and we do not want this beautiful man to pass away.


Judicial execution through F-type prisons takes on place in Turkey since 2000. Human rights defenders, NGOs and barristers have stood against the F-type prisons project, before it was put into practice by force. After political prisoners refused to be placed in these prisons, the state kicked off a series of simultaneous operations among nearly 20 prisons in Turkey on December 19, 2000. Heavy construction equipments, many security troops and soldiers got into the prisons using guns and chemical weapons to take prisoners to F-type prisons by force, during the operations deliberate force was used on prisoners and many prisoners were put into isolated cells despite the fact that they were soaking wet and heavily injured and 28 prisoners along with two soldiers had passed away.

F-type prison cells along with moderated E-type prison cells are based on individual or small-group isolation of prisoners; where ventilation, communication, visiting, health, defense and many other indispensable human rights are subject to usurpation under the name “amendment sanctions” and any efforts to go after such human rights abuses by the prisoners are either refused arbitrarily and/or punished by prison administrative authorities. No criminal complaints regarding the human rights abuses in this sense are let be taken to the authorities.

Among some of the many things that are prohibited at F-type prisons are talking while playing volleyball, archiving newspapers, listening to music from walkman, wearing garments brought by visitors. Also, the colors of the prisoners’ underwear are limited in case they make flags out of them, the flowers pasted on letters are deemed as reasons to tear the letters. Specifically petitions or letters complaining from the deeds of administrative or military personnel are hindered to be sent to lawyers or families of the prisoners. Photo albums are not permitted. Medical treatments for prisoners are impeded by unacceptable practices. The prisoners are not allowed to exchange books or lend money or garments, or keep more than three books at hand. Moreover, the use common lebensraums depend on a certain political view of the prisoners. Three to four times a day prisoners are forced to wear off their shoes and controlled, disquieted for any reasons, exposed to high-volume music, and similar humiliating acts during controls. And these are only a few of many inhuman daily practices observed at F-type prisons.

Such an execution model is an additional type of punishment exerted over prisoners unlawfully and is against humanity. 122 persons have passed away since 2000 in protests against F-type prisons and isolation practices at prisons. More than 600 were injured permanently physically or psychologically.

NGOs, trade unions and human rights defenders that have prepared reports and gone through researches on insulation and isolation at prisons so far all agree that F-type prisons are used for torture, cause irreversible damage on convicts’ and prisoners’ physical and psychological well-being, cultural and political identities.

Isolation practices but abstract individuals from any type of social relations are against the human nature and humanity. Turkey’s government and ministers of justice have done nothing to bring a solution to the problem so far but postpone them, and even closed the channels for dialogue. The government put the new law on execution into practice, which even adds to the current burden of isolation of prisoners.

The point reached as of today is nothing but a bunch of problems due to unlawful practices by the Ministry of Justice against the articles in the Turkey’s constitution that guarantees the right to live and the right to protect honour; against any human rights agreements, international law norms.

On April 5, Barrister Behiç Aşçı, who is a member of People’s Law Bureau and of Administrative Board of Contemporary Lawyers’ Association started death strike with the demand to abolish the isolation in his house in Istanbul. Similar actions - both in and outside prisons - against isolation continue.

The government should immediately take the required steps to halt further deaths and defects. By “steps” the following is implied: The Minister of Justice, Cemil Çiçek, should accept the reality that isolation practice is “subject to discussion” and meet with the spokespersons of the initiative against isolation. Until the discussion period is finalised, the problem should not be made harder with new practices. During this period, fundamental isolation practices of quantity and kind that would necessitate a discussion platform should be given up.


Write your messages to Turkey’s Minister of Justice, Cemil Cicek urging him to make a step for a solution to the ongoing tragedy regarding abuses and deaths due to f-type prisons in Turkey.

Please circulate this call as widely as possible.


Minister of Justice
Cemil Çiçek

Web site:
Fax: +90 312 4177113

Address: T.C. Adalet Bakanlığı, 06659, Kızılay, Ankara

Istanbul Indymedia