Female lawyers visit Aysel Tuğluk, call for her immediate release

The female lawyers who visited Aysel Tuğluk in prison said the medical condition of the Kurdish politician had deteriorated further.

Female lawyers visited jailed Kurdish politician Aysel Tuğluk who was diagnosed with dementia. The lawyers made a statement in front of the prison after the visit. Human Rights Association (IHD) Co-Chair lawyer Eren Keskin, HDP Istanbul Deputy Züleyha Gülüm, as well as several other lawyers attended the press briefing.

Lawyer Leyla Han Tüzel said that Tuğluk’s illness is continuing to deteriorate, yet she is currently at ease because of the struggle the women carry out for her.


After Tüzel's speech, Eylem Arzu Kayaoğlu read out the statement and noted that Tuğluk has been imprisoned since December 2016. “Tuğluk's activities, struggle, the price she paid, her stance in life as a politician and human rights defender have shaped our recent political history,” Kayaoğlu said. The reports prepared by Kocaeli Seka State Hospital and the Forensic Medicine Department of Kocaeli Medicine School stated that her illness prevents her from maintaining her life alone and her execution should be postponed, Kayaoğlu reminded.

“In a report prepared in September 2021, the Forensic Medicine Institution (ATK) stated that Tuğluk could remain in prison without any examination or observation,” Kayaoğlu added.


“Tuğluk was referred to the ATK by the court following the request of her lawyers to 'determine whether she could make a defence in court. She stayed at the ATK Monitoring Specialization Board between February 1- 4 2022, and a report on her condition was sent to the court on February 15, 2022. However, instead of making an assessment on the issue, the ATK prepared a report stating that Tuğluk had 'full criminal responsibility in 2014,” Kayaoğlu noted.


Kayaoğlu remarked that her lawyers asked the ATK to determine whether Tuğluk could make a defence and stay in prison due to her current health condition. However, 16 pages of the 25-page report contained a summary of the investigations and trials against the Kurdish politician. “Only 2 pages concerned ATK's medical findings, yet the opinion of the neurologist, the most important expert, was not taken to determine the course of her illness and its stage. We are aware that the authorities seek to conceal Tuğluk’s real health condition. The report in question revealed the current biased political structure of the ATK,” Kayaoğlu said.


“All administrative and judicial authorities, especially the Ministry of Justice, are responsible for Tuğluk's deteriorating health condition. The Istanbul Bar Association and the Union of Turkish Bar Associations to which Tuğluk is affiliated, remain silent towards her illness. In the meantime, we do not accept the silence of the bar associations, whose main duty is to secure and supervise the protection of human rights, towards sick prisoners and recent deaths in prisons,” Kayaoğlu said.


"We urge 82 provincial bar associations, especially the Istanbul Bar Association, and the Union of Turkish Bar Associations to defend the right to life of all sick prisoners and Tuğluk,” Kayaoğlu remarked.


“We once again call on all the officials who are responsible for the maltreatment of Tuğluk to act in accordance with the law, science and conscience. Tuğluk should be released as soon as possible so that her treatment can continue outside in a manner worthy of human dignity. Therefore, we expect solidarity from all parts of the society.”