Lawyer Bilmez: They don't want news to come out from Imrali

Of the 2,030 interview applications made to visit Abdullah Öcalan since 1999, only 366 were positive.

Kurdish People's Leader Abdullah Öcalan has been held in isolation in Imrali maximum security prison for 25 years. There has been no news from Abdullah Öcalan and his three prisoners for the last three and a half years. Only 366 of the 2,030 applications made since 1999 to meet with Abdullah Öcalan were given a positive response. Some of the 1,664 applications were given a negative response, for various reasons, and some without any justification. Despite all the applications by lawyers, the reason for any disciplinary punishment imposed as of 2023 has not been disclosed. The applications made by Asrın Law Bureau to the Constitutional Court since 2015 were also left inconclusive.

Bullying that excesses arbitrariness

Lawyer Ibrahim Bilmez from Asrın Law Bureau, which undertook the defense of Kurdish People's Leader Abdullah Öcalan, said that they could not receive any information after the last phone call from Imralı in March 2021, which was interrupted after a few minutes. Bilmez said: "There is a tyranny that goes beyond unlawfulness and even arbitrariness.  They use disciplinary punishments as a justification to prevent family visits, and execution judge decisions to prevent lawyers' visits. We say we don't know what's going on in Imralı, but we can't even see the decisions related to the visits ban. We can't even see why those disciplinary penalties are being given. The court made that decision and even kept it secret from us. Therefore, it is clear that they do not want any news to come out from Imrali."

Not separate from the Kurdish question

Lawyer Bilmez said that isolation is Turkey's fundamental structural problem and that it should not be considered separately from the Kurdish question. Bilmez added: "Turkey's inability to democratize, as well as the principle of the rule of law remain on paper, and it is the failure to solve this issue that is the basis of economic problems. Isolation means leaving the Kurdish question unresolved. This issue will be solved eventually, but the important thing is to solve it before this bill gets bigger and not to miss Mr. Öcalan, who has the power to solve this problem. Öcalan is a chance for the people of Turkey. They should take advantage of that chance. That's why isolation must end."

New lawsuits will be filed

Asrın Law Bureau will continue to follow the objections and lawsuits they have filed so far, said Bilmez, adding: “Actually, the authorities are clear in law. We apply to all of them. We will file new cases and follow up on the cases without giving up. In addition, we will continue to carry out diplomatic activities before the EU and the UN. Solidarity against isolation is growing in Turkey and at an international level, and I believe that if this continues, this isolation will be broken."