HDP, DBP, DTK and TJA call for increased struggle against the isolation of Öcalan

Democratic Regions Party (DBP) co-chair Saliha Aydeniz called for increased struggle against the isolation of Kurdish people’s leader Abdullah Öcalan.

It came out yesterday that Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan has been given a 6-month lawyer ban and a 3-month family visitation ban. Accordingly, Asrın Law Office lawyers applied to a court in Bursa province on 22 November requesting an “immediate meeting” with Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan, who remains under an aggravated isolation in İmralı prison, and his fellow prisoners Ömer Hayri Konar, Hamili Yıldırım and Veysi Aktaş.

Following the rejection of the lawyers’ request, it came out that two new bans have been imposed on the Kurdish leader. The office of the Execution Judge in Bursa, which denied the application, cited a 6-month ban introduced on October 12 as a result of a disciplinary investigation launched against Öcalan.

The news was met with reactions on social media as elected representatives of the Kurdish people expressed their concerns about the Imrali prisoners who have long been held incommunicado with the outside world.

The Democratic Society Congress (DTK), Free Women's Movement (TJA), Democratic Regions Party (DBP) and Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) held a press conference at the DBP Headquarters today against the isolation of Abdullah Öcalan.

Speaking here, DBP co-chair Saliha Aydeniz stated that the most recent 6-month lawyer and 3-month family visitation ban imposed on Öcalan is the continuation of the isolation that has been going on in the Imrali prison for the last 23 years.

Aydeniz remarked that after repeated excuses such as ‘broken coaster’ or ‘bad weather’, the state is now trying to aggravate the isolation through disciplinary punishments. She noted that the isolation imposed on Imrali prisoners is applied to the social opposition as well.


“We know that a 6-month lawyer ban was introduced on October 12 and the family visitation ban has been in effect since 18 August. The fact that state authorities have not responded despite repeated applications filed since that day, and that they have now announced these bans only after lawyers' application demanding an immediate meeting with Öcalan, proves that isolation has been turned into a form of government in Turkey. The isolation imposed on Öcalan is spreading all over Turkey. The issues concerning the economy, democracy, women, nature and corruption are all related to the policy of isolation. The one-man rule is based on isolation. It must be seen clearly that this policy has dragged Turkey into a deadlock. The Imrali Prison has been transformed into a laboratory of all crises. The government knows that Öcalan has promoted democracy with his thoughts and philosophy and, for this very reason, wants to silence Öcalan.”


The DBP co-chair continued, “Turkey is no longer governed through the state mechanism, and it is experiencing a democracy problem because of isolation. Insistence on isolation is a major obstacle to democratization. Social segments, the opposition and anyone who is concerned about democracy should fight the isolation. The international community and the Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) have responsibilities which they should fulfil against isolation. International conventions define isolation as a crime against humanity and silence is complicity. We know that the 6-month and 3-month visitation bans were not introduced in accordance with law. The isolation of Öcalan, who paves the way for a renaissance for the Kurdish people, represents the hostility to the Kurdish people. The isolation policy should be abandoned as soon as possible.

The isolation and the lack of information about the health and safety of Öcalan has caused growing concerns among the Kurdish people. Öcalan is a leader declared by millions as ‘my will’. For the sake of Turkey's democracy, the isolation should be lifted immediately. We will expand the struggle against isolation, we will never accept it.”


Speaking after, DTK co-chair Bedran Öztürk said, “Öcalan is the soul of the Kurdish people. No one can separate them from each other.”

Öztürk stressed that the isolation of Öcalan has been aggravated for this reason and demanded the implementation of both domestic and international laws.

The DTK co-chair also criticized the silence of international institutions, saying, “This is complicity. Be honest. Do not be hypocritical.”

The Kurdish politician noted that there is now an isolation within isolation. He called for Öcalan’s lawyers and family members to be granted access to him.