Kurdish lawmaker on hunger strike released from Turkish jail

ISTANBUL (AP) — A Turkish court has ordered the release of an imprisoned pro-Kurdish lawmaker who has been on hunger strike.

Turkey’s official Anadolu news agency said yesterday Leyla Guven is to be released pending trial on terror charges but barred from leaving the country.

The Peoples’ Democratic Party lawmaker has been on hunger strike for 79 days to protest the prison conditions of jailed Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan, who she says has been unlawfully kept in isolation. More than 250 prisoners joined Guven’s hunger strike this month.

Guven has been in pre-trial detention for a year for statements critical of Turkey’s cross-border operation into Syria against Kurdish fighters it considers terrorists.

Hunger strikers in Turkey traditionally refuse food but take vitamins and sugared water, which prolongs life. Guven’s party said her condition has reached “a critical stage.”