Kurdish political prisoner Ayçiçek released after 17 years in jail

Kurdish political prisoner Ayfer Ayçiçek, who was convicted of PKK membership, has been released after 17 years in prison. She was greeted by relatives and friends in front of Gebze women's prison with flowers and songs.

The political prisoner Ayfer Ayçiçek has been released after 17 years in Turkish prisons. On Saturday, the Kurdish woman, who was arrested in Adana in 2007 and charged with being a PKK member, was greeted by a large crowd in front of Gebze women's prison in the province of Kocaeli with flowers and songs.

After her release, Ayfer Ayçiçek said: "I have been in prison since 2007. I am very happy, of course, but, at the same time, I am sad because I had to leave my friends behind. There are many ill prisoners who are not being released for arbitrary reasons. However, the spirit of freedom cannot be trapped. The Kurdish people must stand up for their values."

Ayfer Ayçiçek was one of the prisoners on the human rights association IHD’s list of ill prisoners. During the 17 years she was in jail, she fought against isolation and violence and was treated against her will in a psychiatric clinic several times. After her release, she returns to her family in Antep (Dîlok).