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Two Inmates on Hunger Strike Die; Beating Reported

August 4, 1989

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) _ Newspapers said Thursday that prison guards beat to death two Kurdish prisoners who had been on a hunger strike. Officials said the inmates died of dehydration as a result of their fasts.

According to accounts in Turkish newspapers, the prisoners, members of the outlawed Kurdish Labor Party, were beaten with clubs and guns during a fight that broke out Wednesday in the high-security Aydin prison.

The newspapers said the violence began when prison authorities refused to provide medical care for fasting inmates and the prisoners began protesting. It said four prisoners were injured.

The Anatolia news agency quoted the prosecutor in Aydin, Nural Ucurum, as saying prisoners attacked guards when the guards told the inmates to strip for a medical examination.

Ucurum said the two prisoners were not injured in the fight and that an autopsy showed they died of dehydration after refusing food for 35 days.

Ucurum also said that four fasting prisoners were hospitalized, but he said it was because of a hunger strike, not because of injuries sustained in the prison clash.

The Justice Ministry identified the dead men as Mehmet Yalcinkaya, 27, and Husnu Eroglu, 30. The Kurdish Labor Party seeks to set up a Marxist state in parts of eastern and southeastern Turkey.

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