Banner drop for Aysel Tuğluk in Amed

Activists of the Kurdish women's movement TJA demanded the release of Aysel Tuğluk with a banner dropped from the Tigris Bridge in Amed. The imprisoned lawyer and politician is not released despite her advancing dementia.

Activists of the Free Women's Movement (TJA) demanded the release of Aysel Tuğluk with a banner dropped from a bridge in Amed (tr. Diyarbakır). The Kurdish politician, who has been imprisoned for almost six years, suffers from chronic and progressive Alzheimer's dementia, yet she is not being released. The TJA describes the Turkish judiciary's treatment of the 57-year-old as "enemy law". In Tuğluk's person, the Kurdish movement, but above all the supporters of the women's liberation ideology, are wanted to be punished, according to TJA.

"Freedom for all sick prisoners" was written on the banner with Tuğluk's likeness that was dropped from the Tigris Bridge on Thursday. The overpass is located in the old central district of Sur and is also known as the "ten-eyed bridge" because of its ten arches. After the drop, the TJA activists chanted various slogans for a while, including "Aysel Tuğluk is our dignity" and "Long live the resistance in prisons". They were supported by HDP deputy Feleknas Uca.

Aysel Tuğluk has been in Kandıra prison in the western Turkish province of Kocaeli since December 2016. The lawyer, who represented Abdullah Öcalan among others, has already been sentenced in several trials, while other trials are still pending. In February 2020, the Turkish Court of Appeal confirmed Tuğluk's highest prison sentence to date, of ten years' imprisonment. She was convicted of "directing a terrorist organisation" due to her function as co-chair of the grassroots alliance "Democratic Society Congress" (DTK). In October 2021, a sentence of twenty months imprisonment followed against the former member of parliament for alleged terror propaganda in 2012 and 2013. In the so-called Kobanê trial in Ankara, she faces an aggravated life sentence.