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NEWS: Turkish Woman Sets Self Ablaze in Protest

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posted on Dec, 26 2004 @ 11:58 PM
A 26 year old Turkish woman set herself ablaze to protest the nations maximum security prison system in Istanbul today. Bystanders put out the flames and the woman appears to have survived her attempt. The woman reportedly had served prison time as a member of the Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front, or DHKP-C. This banned Marxist group has been banned by the Turkish government and have been labeled as a terrorist organization.
ISTANBUL, Turkey - A woman doused her body with gasoline and set herself ablaze in a busy Istanbul square on Sunday to protest Turkey's maximum security prison system, the Anatolia news agency reported.

Passers-by rushed to put out the fire and the 26-year-old survived, the agency reported. There was no immediate information on her condition.

The woman, identified as Sergul Albayrak, reportedly served time in prison for being a member of the banned Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front, or DHKP-C, a Marxist group that calls for the overthrow of the Turkish government, Anatolia said.

She unfurled a banner that read "End Isolation" before pouring gasoline on her body, setting it alight and collapsing on the ground in Taksim square, Anatolia reported.

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This is not the first protest against the conditions of the Turkish prison system. Since protest began in 2000, opponents have pointed to abuse and chronic overcrowding. Both the U.S. and the E.U. consider this group to be terrorists and they have targeted U.S. military and diplomatic personnel.

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