Conditions of Aysel Tuğluk worsening, says her lawyer

Reyhan Yalçındağ, the lawyer of Aysel Tuğluk, whose health condition has badly deteriorated, said that their application to the ATK Supreme Board for a re-examination of contradicting reports has gone unanswered.

The health condition of former DTP Co-Chair and HDP Deputy Co-Chair Aysel Tuğluk, who has been imprisoned in Kocaeli Kandıra F Type Prison since 2016, is getting worse.

Tuğluk, who has memory loss and can only meet her daily needs with the help of her friends in the cell, despite the report given by Kocaeli University Faculty of Medicine, Department of Forensic Medicine, confirming that "she cannot lead her life alone under the conditions of a penitentiary institution..." has not yet been released.

Reyhan Yalçındağ, Tuğluk's lawyer, spoke to ANF and pointed out that her client's situation was getting worse day by day due to the poor conditions of the prison.

Pointing out that her client's health condition started to deteriorate after the racist attack on her mother's funeral, Yalçındağ said that she and her family did not want her situation to be shared with the public at that time. They were waiting for a definitive diagnosis, to avoid speculation and misuse of the situation by some political circles.

Stating that the referral process of Tuğluk to Kocaeli Medical Faculty was realized not only by her own efforts as a lawyer, but also as a result of the observations and applications of the Kocaeli prison administration itself, Yalçındağ said: "Our client's referral to Kocaeli Medical Faculty is also related to the prison administration, because they also saw the situation. A very comprehensive report was prepared as a result of the examinations carried out on Aysel Tuğluk at Kocaeli Medical Faculty for 7 months. In the report, it was noted that 'her disease has a chronic course and is degenerative, and that there may be problems in the adequacy of the medical support and care that can be provided in prison conditions. It was said that she cannot lead her life alone in prison conditions, so her sentence should be postponed'.

However, despite this, a completely opposite report was given by the Istanbul ATK, stating that she ‘can live alone’. Unfortunately, we have seen this story before. When you look at the many people who have died in prison or died on the day of their release, you see this: After months of examinations in local hospitals and reports prepared by specialist physicians, reports are issued in the opposite direction by the Istanbul Forensic Medicine Presidency, which for some reason only sees ill prisoners for 5 minutes. We applied to the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (TİHV) to reveal the contradiction between Kocaeli Medical Faculty and Istanbul ATK reports and requested an alternative report be prepared by specialist physicians. In the report issued by the HRFT, it was stated that there were serious contradictions between the two reports and that Aysel Tuğluk should be examined by the Supreme Board of the ATK in order to eliminate these contradictions."

‘My client needs to receive treatment immediately’

Explaining that they made an application to the Supreme Board of ATK through the Kocaeli Prosecutor's Office on 1 November 2021, pointing to the contradictions in the reports, Yalçındağ added that even though 5 weeks have passed, they still haven’t got any answers.

Yalçındağ said that Aysel Tuğluk needs constant help from her cellmates and added: “Think of a puzzle, but there are pieces missing. And they cannot be replaced. This is what Ms Tuğluk is going through. She has difficulties with eating, drinking, speaking, writing, preparing for defense. That's why she couldn't come to court. Specialist physicians have clearly stated in their reports that this situation will gradually worsen. When we go to visit her, she does not remember people or conversations. Her situation is getting worse due to the bad conditions in the prison. She stays in a three-person cell and sees the same people and objects all the time. It is necessary to return to science, morality, medical ethics, conscience and law. We call for these to be followed, but they are not followed. Our client needs to receive treatment immediately."