Joint statement regarding Öcalan: Isolation is torture, it shall be ended

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  • 19:53 17 February 2020
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İSTANBUL- Asrın Law Bureau and human rights organizations called for sensitivity to end the isolation imposed upon PKK Leader Abdullah Öcalan in the joint press conference they held. In the press conference, it was stated that the road to peace passes through Öcalan and it is said that "We need to build peace processes so that we can go to democracy".

Asrın Law Bureau held a press conference in order the evaluate the developments since their last meeting with their client PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan on August 7, 2019 and for the 15th anniversary of the interstate conspiracy. Following individuals, parties and organizations attended the press conference: Democratic Society Congress (DTK) co-chairman Leyla Güven, Human Rights Association (İHD), Turkey Human Rights Foundation (TİHV), Association of Lawyers for Freedom (ÖHD), HDP Istanbul MP ​​Züleyha Gülüm, TİHV President Prof. Dr. Şebnem Korur Fincancı, İHD Co-Chair Öztürk Türkdoğan, İHD İstanbul Branch Chair Gülseren Yoleri, ÖHD of the to the meeting held at a hotel in Beyoğlu, Istanbul. Dr. Şebnem Korur Fincancı, İHD Co-Chair Öztürk Türkdoğan, İHD Istanbul Branch President Gülseren Yoleri, ÖHD Co-Chair Ayşe Acinikli, The Law Bureau of the Oppressed (EHP) lawyers Gülhan Kaya and Sezin Uçar.

Lawyer Rezan Sarıca, who was one of those who attended the last visit to PKK Leader Abdullah Öcalan stated that this is the 22nd year beginning since their client has been handed in to Turkey on February 15 and the İmralı isolation system has been built. Drawing attention to the point that the road maps and the peace calls from Öcalan regarding the democratic sollution of the Kurdish question and for an honorable peace have always been tried to invalidated by the applications of the government which promises for no solution, Sarıca stated that the approach to Öcalan is decisive and interrelated with what is going on in Turkey and Middle east via the crisis, chaos and wars dictated by the new world war strategy.


Saying that Kurds recognize Öcalan as their political will, Sarıca stated, "He has been a leader accepted by the people with his struggle for peace and democratic life paradigm since 1993. Because of that, Democratic Society Congress Co-Chair Mrs. Leyla Güven declared an indefinite, non-rotating hunger strike on November 8, 2018 demanding the bans imposed upon Öcalan to be terminated and the rights declared in the Constitution and in the laws to be applied. They have put forward the need for social consensus and a democratic negotiation, which is far away from the culture of polarization and clash. They also showed that they are capable of resolving the problems of Turkey and the region via the soft power, that is reason, the political and the cultural power, rather than the physical means of violence."


Stating that in their last meeting, Öcalan made the evaluation of "Anatolian and Mesopotamian togetherness" for the historical togetherness of Turkish and Kurdish people, Sarıca followed his statement as follows: “He stated that current problems are caused by a mentality that disrupts this unity, and that a contradictory and hypocritical history was created. He was sayng: 'What is going on in the Middle East and me being held here for 21 years is interconnected'. The Democratic Republic is a democratic Middle East based on the unity of the common homeland and the peoples. During the last meeting we held in August, Mr. Öcalan shared his statements with the public that he has confidence in himself to eliminate the possibility of conflict in one week and for this state should do what it is capable to do."


Prof. Dr. Fincancı emphasized the research in Denmark focusing on the affects of isolation on human life and body. Fincancı stated, "We are also under isolation, because we hardly reach data. The study carried in Denmark is very significant. Isolation in Denmark, of course applied between three days up to seven days. Actually, isolation is banned based on Mandela rules. Even in such a short application of isolation, the death ratio of the of the people within five years they got released from isolation shows a significant increase compared to the people, who have never imprisoned."


Speaking later on in the conference, İHD Co-Chair Öztürk Türkdoğan emphasized the legal rights of Öcalan and the three other prisoners with him. Stating that they are worried about the democratic reactions in case the isolation continued, Türkdoğan said, "We met with the authorities in Ministry of Justice on January 15. We shared our demand for the isolation both in İmralı and in all the other prisons to be ended. As the human right defenders we say that a new peace process is needed. We want to say one more time that the path to peace passes from Abdullah Öcalan."


DTK Co-Chair Leyla Güven said that they got together in order to most significant problem of Turkey and she continued has statement as follows: "As long as this problem is not resolved, we are not able to talk about neither the poverty nor the violence. Because this is the main source. Two days ago was the anniversary of the February 15 conspiracy. This is the dark day of the Kurds. We protest all the rulers who took a part in this international conspiracy."


Stating that not just in İmralı, but in all the other prisons isolation should be ended, Güven continued her speech as follows: "Right now the prisoners resist against this unlawfullness. As the democratic associations we try to be their voice. We are in a process that is named as the third world war. Nobody wants to accept the system they live in. A change imposes itself everywhere in the Middle East, which is the birth place of civilization. For this change, people rise up. But what is the system to replace this one? Mr. Öcalan is the most critical and most significant person regarding this. There is a woman revolution in Rojava. Women have built a life together with the people and they have been living there all together. And there is a mentality, which tries to destroy this. We say that, that is the reason why they impose isolation upon Mr. Öcalan. The isolation should be ended as soon."


Reminding the hunger strike resistance she led, Güven stated: "9 of our friends have ended their lives in this process. They sacrificed their young bodies for this sake. We have political responsibilities.Right now, it is of course very important to end the isolation. We had valuable friends and supporters, who told us, "stop the hunger strike, we will end the isolation together' when we were on hunger strike. We are calling out to them today, let's break the isolation together today. Isolation still continues. Mr. Öcalan should be free. For the peace in the Middle East, for a political society Mr. Öcalan should be free."

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