Lawyers apply for a meeting with Öcalan

Lawyers of the Asrın Law Office have applied to meet with their client, Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan.

Lawyers of the Asrın Law Office, Rezan Sarıca, Raziye Öztürk, Emran Emekçi and Faik Özgür Erol, have applied to the Bursa Chief Public Prosecutor's Office and the Imrali Penal Institution Directorate to visit Kurdish leader Öcalan who has been held under heavy isolation conditions in the İmralı F Type High Security Prison. No news has been received from Öcalan for more than 22 months.

The lawyers, who do not receive any response to their applications made twice a week to meet with Öcalan, applied for an "immediate meeting" with the Bursa Judge of Execution on November 22, 2021. The judges rejected the application, citing a 6-month ban on lawyer visits issued to Öcalan on October 12, 2021, and a 3-month ban on family visits issued on August 18, 2021. However, the lawyers were not informed about the reasons for the bans.


While the family visit ban ended on November 18, 2021, no response was provided to the families' applications to the Bursa Chief Public Prosecutor's Office. On 28 March, lawyers once again applied to the Bursa Judge of Execution, demanding that all unlawful obstacles to family visits be removed. On March 29, the judges rejected the application, announcing that there was a new disciplinary punishment against Öcalan. In its decision, the court said: “The request was rejected on the grounds that all applicants are deprived of family visits for 3 months as a result of a disciplinary punishment issued on February 3, 2022, by the Imrali Prison Administration.”


The lawyers applied to the Constitutional Court (AYM) to lift "unlawful" disciplinary punishments on May 12. In their application to the Constitutional Court, the lawyers drew attention to “incommunicado”, and said that incommunicado is a form of torture and the right to respect for private and family life, the right to defence and fair trial and the right to an effective remedy are violated.

Most recently, Öcalan’s lawyers applied to the Bursa Judge of Execution, after the 3-month family visit ban ended on June 7. The lawyers demanded that all obstacles to family visits be removed and new disciplinary punishments, if any, be communicated to them since the disciplinary punishment expired. Responding to the lawyers' application a day later, the court again rejected the lawyers' demand, arguing that the disciplinary punishments continued.

Following the rejection of the Judge of Execution, the lawyers applied to the Bursa 1st High Criminal Court on June 15.


In its response, the court rejected the application made on June 23, citing a new 3-month disciplinary punishment against Öcalan and other detainees on May 31 by the Imrali Prison Administration.

Öcalan received a 6-months ban to see his lawyers on October 12, 2021, issued by the Bursa Judge of Execution. Although the ban expired on April 22, the lawyers did not receive any response to their applications. Thereupon, the lawyers turned to the Bursa Judge of Execution once again on April 29. The court responded to the lawyers' application on the same day and again rejected their demand to visit Öcalan. A 6-month ban on lawyer visits issued by the judge on April 13 was cited as the reason. Again, no information was provided to the lawyers about the reason for the ban.


The right to speak on the phone was granted to Öcalan for the first time on April 27, 2020. Öcalan talked to his brother Mehmet Öcalan on the phone on March 25, 2021, after public backlash sparked by some allegations concerning his health on the social media. However, Mehmet Öcalan revealed that this phone call had been interrupted.

Öcalan’s lawyers Rezan Sarıca and Nevroz Uysal met their client on May 2-22, June 12-18 and August 7, 2019, after an 8-year hiatus. The lawyers have not been allowed to meet with their clients since.