Detained Turkish demonstrators go on hunger strike

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Asia
Thursday, 11 July 2013

hunger straikTurkish demonstrators, arrested at Istanbul’s Gezi Park, start a hunger strike to protest against the extension of their detention period.

Almost 50 detainees went on hunger strike on Wednesday after prosecutors prolonged their detention.

The detainees identified as representatives and leaders of workers' groups had been rounded up on Monday.

The Taksim Solidarity Platform said they were taken into custody without any legal basis.

Turkish police have arrested thousands of demonstrators since a renovation plan at Gezi Park sparked massive anti-government rallies in May.

The Turkish protesters said Gezi Park, which is a traditional gathering point for rallies and demonstrations as well as a popular tourist destination, is one of Istanbul’s last public green spaces.

The protests soon spread to other cities across the country and turned into calls for the resignation of the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Erdogan opponents say he has become increasingly authoritarian since coming to power a decade ago.

Several people have been killed in the violent crackdown on peaceful protesters, who Erdogan has described as foreign-backed extremists and terrorists.

On June 24, Erdogan praised the “legendary heroism” of police forces in quelling anti-government protests.

The Turkish prime minister has faced international condemnation for his handling of the crisis. Turkish police have been also strongly criticized for using excessive force against the peaceful protests.

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