From late June to early September 1989, nearly 2,000 Turkish prisoners underwent a hunger strike. They protested against an August 1988 decree that instituted very harsh measures within the prison system. The Turkish government imposed the decree after 47 prisoners had escaped. Additionally, in June 1989, prison officials found two unfinished escape tunnels and, as a result, imposed even harsher measures.
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Since the fall of the Ottoman Empire in 1922, Turkey has technically been a secular democracy. Despite this, it has experienced numerous coups and the government has at times proven itself to be highly corrupt.