Merkel government issues statement on Ocalan

The Federal German Government called for an end to the aggravated isolation imposed upon Ocalan. Minister of State for Europe Michael Roth called on Ankara for Ocalan to meet with his lawyers and his family.

The aggravated isolation imposed upon Kurdish People’s Leader Ocalan in the Imrali Island Prison had been brought to the Federal German Parliament’s attention recently when Die Linke submitted an inquiry to the Angela Merkel led Federal Government about their stance regarding Imrali.

Die Linke MP Michel Brandt’s inquiry said the following:

“Does the Federal Government have any information on the health of Abdullah Ocalan, currently held in the Imrali Island Prison? Will the Federal Government make the Council of Europe’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture take action to have Ocalan and/or Leyla Guven visited, as she continues her hunger strike in prison?”


Minister of State for Europe Michael Roth responded to the inquiry in the name of the government the other day. The short response the ANF has obtained says, “As the Federal German Government we would like to stress that Turkey, as a member of the Council of Europe, is obliged to comply with the European Convention on Human Rights with regards to arrestees just as with every other issue.”

Minister Roth said they have clearly stated in all meetings with the Turkish government as in meetings among EU member state governments that human rights of arrestees should be acknowledged, and added that Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Bärbel Kofler has recently brought up the matter.

Roth argued that the Federal German Government’s stance regarding the pressure the Turkish judiciary exerts on the democratic opposition is very clear, and continued to issue the following call to the Ankara administration: “The Turkish government should not further provoke conflict with the democratic and legitimate opposition. The Federal Government has voiced this stance in dialogues with the Turkish government as well as in multi-party dialogue forums such as Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and in the Council of Europe.”


Minister of State for Europe Michael Roth said the Federal Government monitors Turkish court cases as closely as possible and is in constant contact with HDP representatives for information, and added the following on the Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Ocalan’s situation:

“On the PKK founder Abdullah Ocalan’s health, the Federal Government has no information. Like you, we know what we know from the media and as far as we know, Mr. Ocalan met with his brother Mehmet Ocalan on January 12 and has relayed that he is fine.

The report the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) issued last year criticized the Imrali prisoners’ lack of connection to the outside world. Our call for the Turkish government is this: Ocalan must be able to meet with his lawyers and his family, and we demand that restrictions against all prisoners be lifted.”

Roth responded to Die Linke MP Heike Hänsel’s written inquiry in another Federal Parliamentary session this week and spoke about the Turkish state threats against Rojava Kurdistan and the north of Syria, stating that they are working to prevent such attacks against northern parts of Syria by the Turkish state.