Jim Eadie asks PM to help writer in Turkish jail

Jim Eadie wants to know why Steve Kaczynski, inset is being held without trial. picture: Ian Rutherford

Jim Eadie wants to know why Steve Kaczynski, inset is being held without trial. picture: Ian Rutherford

1
Have your say

CITY MSP Jim Eadie has written to David Cameron about the case of a journalist and campaigner who is on hunger strike in a Turkish prison.

Steve Kaczynski was arrested in April in a raid on a culture centre in Istanbul where he was due to act as interpreter at a symposium. He is being held in isolation at a high-security prison, but it is not clear what he is being charged with.

The Evening News yesterday revealed his family’s fears for his health.

Mr Kaczynski is taking water and some vitamins and is under medical supervision, but his mother Ann, 70, who lives in Gilmerton, said: “I just wish he could come back to Britain and stay here.”

In his letter, Mr Eadie asked the Prime Minister if the UK Government could take immediate action to investigate why Mr Kaczynski had been held for several months without trial.

And he asked that the government make representation to the Turkish authorities to ensure Mr Kaczynski’s safety and wellbeing.

Mr Eadie has since been contacted by the Foreign Office and has asked for a meeting with ­Minister of State David ­Lidlington to discuss the case.

He also asked the Foreign Office to do all it could to make sure Mr Kaczynski was receiving adequate medical care.

Mr Eadie said: “I am in regular contact with Steve’s family. This is a very difficult time for them, particularly as Steve is now in his fifth week of hunger strike.

“I have asked for a meeting with David Lidlington to ensure the Foreign Office is doing everything in its power to support the family.”

Mr Kaczynski’s brother, Brian, was able to visit him last week after Foreign Office intervention. Brian said his brother had lost a lot of weight but told him he was feeling fine.

Brian believes his brother was arrested because he was “in the wrong place at the wrong time”.

Members of left-wing music group Grup Yorum were arrested at the same time but later released.

It is thought the authorities are claiming Mr Kaczynski, a long-standing human rights campaigner, has links to the banned left-wing organisation DHKP-C.

Mr Kaczynski was born in Edinburgh and went to Linlithgow Academy, then Edinburgh University, where he studied German and Russian. He has worked for the BBC World Service as well as a number of newspapers and speaks several languages.

A British consular official is due to visit Mr Kaczynski in prison today.