HDP deputies on day 29 of vigil against Öcalan’s isolation

In a speech during the vigil in front of the Turkish parliament, a deputy of the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), Ayşe Sürücü, said “Open the doors of İmralı. The isolation in prisons is causing chaos and crises in the country.”

The Justice Vigil, launched by HDP deputies for Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan to be allowed to meet with his lawyers, has entered its 29th day. HDP deputies Kemal Peköz, Fatma Kurtulan, Feleknas Uca, Muazzez Orhan, Abdullah Koç, Ayşe Sürücü, Murat Çepni, Sait Dede, Şevin Coşkun and Erdal Aydemir made a statement outside the Parliament during the action on Tuesday.

In a speech, Sürücü said: “The laws applied in all prisons in Turkey are not implemented in İmralı. Under what jurisdiction is Imrali island? It is not subject to Turkey’s laws; it is governed by special laws.”

She added: “Sick prisoners are left to die. More prisoners are dying in prisons. All of these are directly related to isolation. Since 2015, crises have been deepening and femicides have increased. 320 women were murdered in the last year alone. We cannot say that this is not connected to the isolation.”

Sürücü continued: “The biggest portion of the budget in this country is allocated to war. All these policies deepen the crisis. People are no longer able to even buy clothes. Women, young people, workers, healthcare professionals are leaving the country. These problems are linked to isolation.”

The HDP deputy pointed out that: “Mr. Öcalan is not an ordinary person. His role in finding a solution to the Kurdish question is known to everyone. Mr. Öcalan has been making great efforts for peace in the country for years. From 2013 to 2015, Turkish officials held talks with Mr. Öcalan. Negotiations were carried out for a democratic solution. However, a policy of deadlock and isolation has been put into effect since April 5. War and chaos have been deepened. The HDP will fight for a solution until the end in order to secure an environment of peace.”

Sürücü added: “We filed an application, but the Ministry of Justice did not respond. We have been on a justice vigil for 29 days, yet our voices have not been heard. As long as the isolation continues, so will our struggle. Lawyers and family members should be granted a meeting with Mr. Öcalan as soon as possible.”