Vegan Prisoner Goes on Hunger Strike in Turkey

Osman Evcan, a prisoner at the Silivri Prison, has refused to eat after jail officials maliciously fed him meals with meat and rotten food—which is a violation of a vegan food law Evcan helped to establish in 2012.


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Vegan prisoner Osman Evcan—who is serving a life sentence in the Silivri Prison in Istanbul, Turkey—went on an indefinite hunger strike on March 28. The prisoner revealed that jail officials began to serve him food that contained meat and rotten products after he protested annual event Eid al-Adha—a Muslim tradition that involves the public slaughter of sheep, goats, and cows. Deputy Sezgin Tanrıkulu lodged a complaint letter with Justice Minister Abdülhamit Gül on Evcan’s behalf asking a number of questions about the situation. “Why [was] a 60-year-old convict not given vegan food, which is his legal right?” Tanrıkulu inquired before asking if “an investigation would be launched regarding the [jail] officials who are acting against the relevant regulations in [Justice] Ministry law?” Evcan underwent a series of hunger strikes for several years which led to the implementation of new regulations in 2012 that required access to vegan food for prisoners in Turkey. Stateside, The Federal Prisons Bureau introduced vegan options—Tofu Fried Rice, Soy Taco Salad, Bean Burritos, and Soy Hot Dogs—in 2017 to 102 prison menus nationwide.