İZMİR - ÖHD İzmir Branch Co-chair Şükran Öztürk, who called the bar associations to take action against the isolation imposed on PKK Leader Abdullah Öcalan, said, "The guarantee of the implementation of the rules of law in a country is the defense. The bar associations represent the defense."
There has been no news for 20 months from PKK Leader Abdullah Öcalan, who has been held under aggravated isolation conditions in İmralı Type F High Security Prison. While Öcalan's lawyers requested an "urgent visit" to the Bursa Criminal Execution Judge on November 22, 2021, the judge's office rejected the application, citing the 6-month ban on lawyers on October 12, 2021, and the 3-month ban on family visits on August 18, 2021. The ban, which ended on November 18, 2021, continues on the grounds of "disciplinary" penalties. Also in June, 765 lawyers from Kurdistan and Turkey and 350 lawyers from 22 countries applied to the Ministry of Justice. The request to meet with Öcalan has not been answered so far. Foolowing the lack of response to the applications, the lawyers started to petition the bar associations, calling for action.
Şükran Öztürk, Co-chair of the Association of Lawyers for Freedom (ÖHD) İzmir Branch, spoke about their application to the İzmir Bar Association and the isolation in İmralı. Stating that they, as the ÖHD, do not think that the isolation in İmralı has a legal aspect, Öztürk emphasized that while a positive or negative response should be given to a legal application, all applications have been left unanswered for the last 20 months. Pointing out that the isolation should be lifted and legal regulations should be implemented, Öztürk said, "We must evaluate this through the fascism that is now on the agenda of the country. Because not implementing the laws can only be explained by this. We think that his aggressive attitude of the government and the pressure on non-governmental organizations are an indicator of this fascism."
DEADLOCK IN THE KURDISH QUESTION
Referring to the applications made against the unlawfulnesses, Öztürk continued as follows: "ÖHD applied to the Bursa Prosecutor's Office in June with 765 lawyers, requesting a meeting with Mr. Abdullah Öcalan and other 3 prisoners held in İmralı. However, no response was given by the prosecutor's office. Because when we look at the deadlock of the Kurdish question and the point it has brought to society, we see that this isolation stems from the fact that Kurds are still ignored. In order to resolve the Kurdish question, the interlocutors need to be able to speak up. We know that the problem will be resolved and the society will reach peace if this happens." Stating that they want to reach out to all rights-based individuals and institutions for this reason, Öztürk said that they want to draw the attention of the bar associations, which should take the floor first in human rights advocacy. Öztürk expressed that they want to remind the Union of Turkish Bar Associations (TBB) and the bar associations in the provinces of their duties.
CALL TO BAR ASSOCIATIONS
Reiterating their call to bar associations, Öztürk said, "The guarantee of the implementation of the rule of law in a country is the defense. The bar associations represent the defense. The TBB and the bar associations in the provinces should not consider this unlawfulness as the isolation imposed on a person. They should see that the isolation is reflected to the whole society and an understanding is tried to be established. That's why we call the bar associations to duty."
MA / Tolga Güney