Turkish jail `riot' ends, but prison war boils on
Monday 06 December 1999
But the authorities denied any hostages had been taken - though they conceded a struggle had broken out inside Istanbul's high security Metris prison.
All day, police helicopters circled the prison complex as commandos took up position outside. Inside, jailed members of the Islamic Great Eastern Riders Front had apparently rioted at the news some were to go to another prison. The state prosecutor, Celil Demircioglu, sent to take charge, insisted there had been been only "pushing and shoving", and everything was back to normal.
The Front, which supports the introduction of Islamic sharia law in Turkey, and has been blamed for bomb attacks, said they had released all the hostages.
Turkey has an ongoing struggle to wrest back control of its lawless prisons, where inmates have access to mobile phones and guns. Several people - including a prominent mafia leader - were killed in a recent jail gunbattle, and the rebel Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) has been known to train its jailed members in prison.
The authorities are trying to take control by moving prisoners from traditional jails where large numbers live in single wards, to new prisons with small cells. There are many jail protests. Political groups have traditionally been housed together in single wards, and object to being broken up.
The prison riots are embarrassing for Turkey at a time when it is hoping to be named as a candidate for membership of the European Union. Usually, Turkish guards are accused of maltreating prisoners.
- 1 Jeremy Clarkson 'sees no problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC
- 2 'Alien thigh bone' on Mars: Excitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
- 4 London restaurant 34 creates champagne glass modelled on Kate Moss’ left breast
- 5 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Bin bag full of cats' heads discovered near Manchester's Curry Mile
Disgusting, frustrating, but intriguing: how the country really feels about its politicians
£30000 - £50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Junior Quant Analyst - C++, Boost...
£30000 - £50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Junior Quant Analyst (Machine Lea...
£45000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits: Harrington Starr: SQL Developer (TSQL, S...