International Women's Delegation visits Abdullah Öcalan's lawyers

International Women's Delegation visited Asrin Law Office. During the visit, the isolation of Öcalan was discussed and attention was drawn to the hunger strikes in prisons.

A 7-member International Women's Delegation, including lawyers, parliamentarians, ecologists and representatives of civil society organizations from various European countries, arrived in Turkey. The delegation will spend two days in various contacts regarding Abdullah Öcalan’s isolation and rights violations in prisons.  The delegation paid the first visit to Asrin Law Office, which represents Abdullah Öcalan and his fellow prisoners, Ömer Hayri Konar, Veysi Aktaş and Hamili Yıldırım in İmralı F Type High Security Prison. Asrin Law Office lawyers Raziye Öztürk, Rezan Sarıca, İbrahim Bilmez and Emran Emekçi attended the meeting.

Asrin Law Office lawyers informed the delegation about the isolation of Abdullah Öcalan and his fellow prisoners in İmralı F Prison. The lawyers talked about the arbitrary disciplinary penalties imposed on Abdullah Öcalan, the conditions in İmralı Prison, the latest decisions regarding the ban on lawyers and their actions against these decisions.


Speaking during the meeting with the delegation, Lawyer Emran Emekçi pointed out that there has been no news from Abdullah Öcalan for 33 months and lawyer and family visits are arbitrarily banned. Stating that the bans on lawyer visits are politically motivated, Emekçi said, "The reasons for the bans on lawyer visits and disciplinary penalties are hidden from us. According to the law, in order to ban family and lawyer visits, lawyer visits must be proven with a document.  A ban is imposed on lawyer meetings that do not exist, there is nothing legal about this. They want to break Abdullah Öcalan's will through isolation policies, to make him give up his political rights and confine him to individual rights."

Lawyer İbrahim Bilmez stated that the Kurdish people see Abdullah Öcalan as a leader and said, "There have been many campaigns for Mr. Öcalan before. The 10,328,623 signatures collected as part of the Freedom for Öcalan Campaign carried out worldwide were delivered to the Council of Europe. A large part of the Kurdish people trusts Mr. Öcalan. The state knows this and has repeatedly held talks at the official table. Mr. Öcalan is a great chance for both Turkey and the Middle East. Mr. Öcalan has been working for a peaceful solution to the Kurdish question since 1993 and has repeatedly made unilateral ceasefires. Mr. Öcalan is also a very reasonable person. He realizes that the Kurdish question is complex and affects the Middle East. Despite all the conditions of isolation, he has worked for peace and a solution. The Kurdish people are behind Mr. Öcalan. They are aware that the approach to Mr. Öcalan is an approach to the Kurdish people. Hunger strikes have started in Turkey to demand an end the conditions of isolation and a solution to the Kurdish question. This situation worries us. We are happy that the delegation is here, our demand is that the isolation is made public."


Lawyer Rezan Sarıca said, "Mr. Öcalan would be very happy if he knew that a women's delegation is on a visit here for him. There has been no news from Mr. Öcalan for 33 months. This is a serious cause for concern for us. Öcalan said that he is always ready for a solution to the Kurdish question. He made suggestions about the crisis in society. His stance and will gave great confidence and hope. This was also reflected on society. In addition, the hunger strikes of the time ended upon his call, because his political line is based on the philosophy of survival. In the last meetings, he was also aware of the potential for general conflict. He made a strong declaration of will that he could stop this in a week, but his call was left hanging in the air. Mr. Öcalan has always been ready for a solution."

Noting that Abdullah Öcalan's approach to the women's issue is based on freedom, Sarıca said that he considers the problems women face as a great reason for struggle. Sarıca said, "For example, on the issue of 'child brides', Öcalan said 'I would make 10 revolutions'. He was in a great struggle for women to live in equal conditions. He was also interested in current issues at that time. The importance he attached to the women's liberation struggle had been on his agenda for a long time."


Drawing attention to Abdullah Öcalan's women's libertarian paradigm, Lawyer Raziye Öztürk said: "Mr. Öcalan wanted women to be in a leading position and created a serious mental revolution in Kurdistan. He built a women's libertarian paradigm even in those difficult conditions. His paradigm against this system, especially in the aspect of women, is being realized everywhere."

After the lawyers' statements, the talk continued closed to the press.

The delegation will also visit Women Strong Together, Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (TİHV), Human Rights Association (İHD) and Saturday Mothers.