Kurdish MPs on hunger strike for Cizre

Three Kurdish MPs are on hunger strike at Turkish Interior Ministry for a fifth day in order to attract attention to the plight of a group of more than 20 people who have been trapped in a basement in the curfew-hit town of Cizre.

ANKARA, Turkey (K24) - Three Kurdish MPs are on hunger strike outside the Turkish Interior Ministry for a fifth day to attract attention to the plight of more than 20 people trapped in a basement in the curfew-hit town of Cizre, in southeast Turkey. Fierce clashes have been taking place between the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) affiliates and the Turkish Army in Cizre for weeks.

The three Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) MPs--Meral Danis Bestas, Osman Baydemir, and Idris Baluken--announced they will continue the strike until the dead and wounded in the Cizre basement are transported to a hospital.

Kurdish politicians accuse the Turkish authorities of negligence in helping the wounded, a charge dismissed by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as fabrications.

On Saturday, in a statement emailed to K24 Ankara bureau, the three MPs said they were working with officials from the Prime Ministers Office, and the Ministry of Interior to secure a safe exit for those trapped.

The statement revealed that a municipality health team and ambulances tried on Saturday morning to reach the building but failed to recover them because of gunfire in the area.

In the statement, a transcript of a phone call between one of the people trapped and the MPs read, "they are firing on us....they will kill us, please help."

The MPs said they relayed a record of the phone call to government officials and maintain communication with the group, still trapped as of Sunday.


Editing by Ava Homa
(Nevin Diri and Hesen Kako contributed to this story in Ankara and Diyarbakir)