On 2 September 2012, about sixty Kurds, an Iranic people native to Southwest Asia, that were in Turkish prisons began a hunger strike. These prisoners began this campaign out of a demand to free Mr. Abdullah Ocalan, one of the founding members of Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), a militant organization in Turkey. Mr. Ocalan was serving a life sentence and kept in solitary confinement in a prison on an island near Istanbul.
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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.