Link to BBC Homepage

Front Page







World News in Audio

On Air


Talking Point


Low Graphics


Site Map

Wednesday, April 1, 1998 Published at 15:22 GMT 16:22 UK

World: Europe

Hostage drama continues in Turkish prisons
image: [ Istanbul University students held protests in support of the prisoners ]
Istanbul University students held protests in support of the prisoners

A group of prisoners in Turkey is continuing to hold hostage more than 50 prison guards and officials in six prisons.

The protests were prompted by the transfer of 12 members of an extreme left-wing group, the Revolutionary People's Liberation Party Front.

[ image: Soldiers surround Ankara prison]
Soldiers surround Ankara prison
There is a heavy security presence outside the prisons. However, the authorities say they are trying to avoid any escalation and have no plans at present to storm the prisons to free the hostages.

Government officials and human rights groups have been trying to negotiate with the prisoners' lawyers to end the incidents peacefully. Human rights activists have resumed their mediation efforts.

The prisoners released one hostage after he fell ill.

Protests common

The BBC correspondent in Ankara says prisoners are apparently demanding a guarantee that no more members of their group will be transferred to other jails.

The group involved in the protest has carried out numerous small-scale attacks against the security forces and business interests in Turkey's major cities. In prison its members are often kept together in dormitories to avoid clashes with rival factions.

There has been a succession of protests about conditions in Turkish prisons. Overcrowding is a big problem, and there are constant accusations of official brutality.

Twelve prisoners taking part in a hunger strike starved themselves to death in 1996, and a number of inmates have been killed in the aftermath of prison riots.

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage


Link to BBC Homepage

  Relevant Stories

19 Mar 98 | World
Turkish police sentenced for journalist death

11 Mar 98 | World
Turkish policemen acquitted of torture

In this section

Violence greets Clinton visit

Russian forces pound Grozny

EU fraud: a billion dollar bill

Next steps for peace

Cardinal may face loan-shark charges

From Business
Vodafone takeover battle heats up

Trans-Turkish pipeline deal signed

French party seeks new leader

Jube tube debut

Athens riots for Clinton visit

UN envoy discusses Chechnya in Moscow

Solana new Western European Union chief

Moldova's PM-designate withdraws

Chechen government welcomes summit

In pictures: Clinton's violent welcome

Georgia protests over Russian 'attack'

UN chief: No Chechen 'catastrophe'

New arms control treaty for Europe

From Business
Mannesmann fights back

EU fraud -- a billion-dollar bill

New moves in Spain's terror scandal

EU allows labelling of British beef

UN seeks more security in Chechnya

Athens riots for Clinton visit

Russia's media war over Chechnya

Homeless suffer as quake toll rises

Analysis: East-West relations must shift

Europe Contents

Country profiles