Aysel Tuğluk remains in prison despite court ruling for her release in Kobanê trial

The release of Aysel Tuğluk has been ordered in the "Kobanê trial" in Ankara. As the seriously ill politician has already been sentenced in another trial, she remains in prison.

While the release of Aysel Tuğluk has been ordered in the so-called Kobanê trial, the seriously ill Kurdish politician will remain in prison due to a final conviction in another trial.

The release of Aysel Tuğluk was decided by the court in the Kobanê trial late on Friday evening in Ankara. 108 people are accused in the political show trial, including the former executive committee of the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP). 21 defendants are in prison. The defendants are accused of terrorist offences and murder in dozens of cases in connection with the protests during the ISIS attack on Kobanê in October 2014.

Suffering from dementia in prison

Aysel Tuğluk has been in Kandıra prison in the western Turkish province of Kocaeli since December 2016, suffering from dementia while in custody. Last year, an expert opinion from the forensic department of Kocaeli University determined that the 57-year-old is no longer fit to be imprisoned due to chronic and progressive Alzheimer's dementia and should be released from prison immediately. The Forensic Medicine Institute (ATK) in Istanbul, an institution of the Ministry of Justice, has made a contrary finding and has so far seen no reason to suspend the execution of the sentence.

Sentenced to ten years in fictitious terror trial

Aysel Tuğluk, who also represented Abdullah Öcalan as a lawyer, has already been sentenced in several cases, while other trials are still pending. In February 2020, the Turkish Court of Appeal confirmed Tuğluk's highest prison sentence to date, of ten years' imprisonment. She was convicted of "directing a terrorist organisation" due to her function as co-chair of the grassroots alliance "Democratic Society Congress" (DTK). In October 2021, a sentence of twenty months imprisonment followed against the former member of parliament for alleged terror propaganda in 2012 and 2013. In the so-called Kobanê trial in Ankara, she faces an aggravated life sentence.