Vegan convict in Turkish prison ends hunger strike after food demands met
KOCAELİOsman Evcan, a Turkish convict serving a prison sentence in the northwestern province of Kocaeli, has put an end to his 39-day hunger strike after officials agreed to serve him sufficient vegan food.
Evcan, whose struggle had netted broad support, had demanded fresh seasonal vegetables, not greenhouse or canned vegetables, and a sufficient amount of legumes, grain and dried fruits, as well as more vegan food sold at the prison’s canteen.
The Istanbul Animal Freedom Inıtiative marched down the city’s Istiklal Avenue last week to lend support to Evcan.
Recently main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Şenal Sarıhan had raised a parliamentary question to Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ, asking for information on Evcan’s situation.
On Dec. 18, the prosecutor of the prison had a two-hour meeting with him, following an outpouring of messages supporting the vegan convict and petitions to Kandıra Prison, where he is serving his sentence.
Evcan told members of the Turkish Doctors Union (TTB) that his demands were met before being taken to the hospital.
His sister, Asiye Evcan, said he was in good health.
“He went to the hospital on foot. We are very happy that he claimed back his rights,” she said.
Evcan went on a 43-day hunger strike in 2011 to gain vegan and vegetarian food rights for convicts and arrested individuals. However, he began another strike this year for the proper implementation of his rights.