Öcalan's lawyer: CPT isn’t fulfilling its duty to prevent the İmralı isolation

Öcalan’s Lawyer Newroz Uysal said the 18-year long isolation imposed upon Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Öcalan is based on unlawfulness and that the CPT isn’t fully fulfilling their duties in preventing this torture.

A crime against humanity, the isolation implemented against Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Öcalan by the AKP after ending the negotiation process continues under aggravated circumstances every day.

Although there is no legal basis whatsoever for the isolation imposed upon Öcalan, the AKP/Palace continue the dirty policies they implemented against Öcalan and insist on considering the Kurdish people a part of the isolation with the current war process. The State of Emergency declared after the attempted coup of July 15 has taken the isolation imposed upon Öcalan to a new level.

Öcalan’s lawyer Newroz Uysal from Asrın Law Office spoke to ANF regarding the unlawful practices imposed on Öcalan for 18 years and said that the state saw the situation as a hostage position against the Kurdish people. Uysal mentioned the unlawfulness of the isolation imposed upon Öcalan and said the CPT wasn’t really serious about this issue.


Uysal emphasized that, from the smallest treatment to the most fundamental right, nothing has been legally met for 18 years on the İmralı Island where Öcalan is held, and stated that both Turkey and the international powers were failing to fulfill their responsibilities. Uysal said: “The state of Turkey’s approach towards Mr. Öcalan is, as he often says, treating him as a hostage held in a political move. When they want to deepen the war or when they declare a political war against the Kurdish people and the Kurdish movement, the existing isolation is increased. His right to phone calls and lawyer visits has been restricted since 1999, and that points to an isolation. But now, at certain intervals, and as we have experienced for the last months, we go through periods of absolute lack of contact.”


Uysal stated that they experienced the most critical period of no contact of the last 18 years after the coup attempt on July 15 and said that even in that situation, the state of Turkey and the international institutions refused their appeal to meet with Öcalan. Uysal said that they were told that after the State of Emergency was declared, a court verdict was issued that stated that Öcalan and the 3 people with him cannot meet with anybody as long as the State of Emergency continues. “The appeals we make every week for both lawyer and family visits are refused on this grounds. As you remember, 50 Kurdish politicians had gone on a hunger strike so Öcalan would be contacted. When we look at it politically, after this hunger strike, despite the State of Emergency decree, as if the legal process was absolutely normal, he was allowed a holidays visit with his family. After that meeting, we continued appealing every week, but still we are refused citing that unlawful court order. This alone shows how unlawful the situation there is.”


Uysal said that as a unique example in the world, the İmralı isolation is both accepted in the international community, and the courts acknowledge that there is a torture isolation system.

“The ECHR issued a verdict in 2004 and confirmed with the court order that this is torture. There is torture, acknowledged by a court verdict, but the CPT that is obligated to follow up on this as an institution under the Council of Europe is dragging out our appeals and they keep them on hold. The least that could be done was that the CPT visit İmralı prison urgently after the coup attempt on July 15, but they didn’t. We both met with them face to face and we tried to describe the situation in our monthly reports. Although the CPT did hold a visit to Turkey in mid-September, they visited those arrested from the Fethullah Gülen organization.” Uysal stated that the CPT didn’t visit the Imralı prison that is the most critical position.


Uysal said the following on the response they received when they asked CPT why they didn’t visit the island: “The information state authorities gave us was sufficient and satisfactory for us. They found an excuse to not visit, that is what they say to us. The CPT exists to prevent violence in prisons, they can visit a prison without state permission, but they can say that they are satisfied with information given to them by a state. The CPT’s duty isn’t to look at whether Mr. Öcalan is alive or not. CPT’s duty is to prevent the torture that exists in there. We still continue to regularly send our monthly reports to the CPT, but they don’t say anything other than they have an investigation for the situation and they are assessing it.”


Uysal said there was the 2 year long experience of the resolution process and that after this experience, for the democratization of Turkey, they consider Mr. Öcalan to be able to play a very active role in resolving the other issues in general as well as the Kurdish issue, and that they have seen how much the solutions he offers get results. Uysal underlined that the changes in state approach towards the Kurdish people and the Kurdish movement presented themselves first on İmralı and said: “The sparks of the war period that emerged in April and the Prime Minister’s comments of ‘There is no Kurdish issue, the table is gone’ first started after visits with Mr. Öcalan were halted again. There is a mechanism for a resolution set forth by Mr. Öcalan, both in the political sense and as a whole. The targeting of HDP today is the targeting of Mr. Öcalan. Because it is a project he made happen, and the party being under such attack is synonymous to Mr. Öcalan’s ideas being attacked. For the last year, the war in Kurdistan has reached a level of annihilation and we are in a position where we’re marching towards fascism.”

Uysal concluded with saying that the only way to get rid of the war period in Turkey and Kurdistan is through ending the isolation imposed upon Öcalan.