Turkish Inmates End Four-Day Riot, Free Hostages
A four-day riot in a jail in the southern Turkish city of Adana ended Thursday after inmates released 13 prison guards they were holding hostage.
"The riot is over and the hostages are freed," prosecutor Cemal Sahir Gurcay told the all-news NTV channel, adding that the authorities had not used force to end the standoff.
The mutiny begun Monday when common law prisoners took 21-prison guards hostage to protest plans to transfer a group of fellow inmates, members of a mafia-style gang, to other jails.
The prisoners, who had barricaded themselves in their wards, had freed eight hostages earlier in a goodwill gesture during negotiations.
After security forces surrounded the compound, the inmates pledged to end the riot Thursday but then held out for five hours in a bid to obtain "concessions," Gurcay said.
These included demands that any charges against them should be dropped and that no inmates should be transferred.
But these demands were rejected and the inmates later agreed to end their protest.
Frequent revolts and hostage-taking in Turkey's crowded jails have prompted the government to outline a reform plan under which the current wards housing up to 60 inmates will be replaced with three-person cells.
Gurcay said some 1,000 prisoners were in Adana prison, which has an official capacity of 600.
The government's reform plan has triggered widespread protests from prisoners' families and human rights groups who argue that the new system will lead to further alienation of detainees -- ANKARA (AFP)
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