Over 160 inmates on hunger strike , says pro-Kurdish HDP lawmaker

There are 162 Turkish prisoners who have joined a hunger strike in a show of solidarity with an imprisoned pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) lawmaker who has been refusing food since last November, AP quoted HDP lawmaker Meral Danış Beştaş as saying on Wednesday.

Beştaş said fellow HDP member Leyla Güven has reached "a critical stage" in her hunger strike.

Güven launched the hunger strike in protest of the Turkish state’s treatment of Abdullah Öcalan, the jailed leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Öcalan was captured by Turkey in 1999, and after the breakdown of peace negotiations between the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and PKK in 2015, has been subject to severe restrictions on meetings.

Güven is one of nine HPD lawmakers currently behind bars.

Ankara accuses the HDP of harbouring sympathy and acting in the interest of the PKK, which it designates a terrorist organisation.