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Kurdish politicians urge protesters to spare own lives in Turkey

Five people have reportedly died this month while protesting the imprisonment conditions of the jailed leader of the banned Kurdistan Workers Party.
Pervin Buldan, co-leader of the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), speaks before starting a two-day hunger strike in support of jailed Kurdish lawmaker Leyla Guven's own hunger strike against the isolation of Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan in prison, at the Turkish Parliament in Ankara, Turkey December 4, 2018. REUTERS/Umit Bektas - RC17525CE770

ISTANBUL — Kurdish politicians have called on prisoners to stop taking their own lives after a spate of suicides and an ongoing hunger strike while the Turkish government refuses to meet their demands.

Hundreds or thousands of inmates, depending on the source, are refusing solid food to pressure Turkey to improve imprisonment conditions for Abdullah Ocalan, the 70-year-old founder of the armed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) who is serving a life sentence for treason and has not been allowed to meet with lawyers for several years.

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