“Last week, I went to Kandıra Prison to visit Aysel Tuğluk, Gültan Kışanak and Figen Yüksekdağ. They are very old friends of mine, but we spent more time with Aysel. Aysel Tuğluk is also a very dear friend of mine. In those brutal experiences of the 1990s, we were together with Aysel every day chasing tortured people in the State Security Courts, and following the hearings until midnight,” writes Eren Keskin for Yeni Yaşam .
Aysel has always been a very kind and sensitive person. I am sure anybody, who has ever experienced Aysel’s friendship, loves Aysel very much. We had an important similarity. We were both care so much for our mothers and I remember saying to her: “What will we do if we lose our mothers? Is it good to be so much attached?”
After Abdullah Öcalan was taken back to Turkey, Aysel and I represented Öcalan as his lawyers, Aysel and I always wondered about “what our mothers would do”. Because we were sure that we would be targeted, maybe we would be arrested, and our families would be attacked as well. I remember in detail, one of our conversations about what our mothers would do in this situation, how they would handle it, how they would cope with this burden.
As we all know, Aysel’s mother, our dear aunt Hatun, was really fond of Aysel. Because she had lost a child, she was extremely careful about her daughter. Aysel used to say this all the time. After she became a member of parliament, she continued to live with her mother. They were bound to each other very much.
Aysel, was subjected to a great political injustice like all other Kurdish politicians. Aysel has never supported violence, she just tried to do everything for a peaceful resolution of the Kurdish question. For this reason, she continued working in the field as a civil political actor.
However, Aysel suffered the worst attacks after the end of the so-called peace process. Like all other Kurdish politicians, Aysel also experienced the pain and suffering in prison…
While she was in prison, she lost her mother Hatun. It was a deep pain for her. The loss of a mother is painful for everyone, but if you have an overly attached relationship with your mother, it’s unbearable. And unfortunately, a racist group also attacked Aysel’s mother’s funeral. However, the perpetrators have still not been brought to justice; more than that, they were accepted as national heroes. Aysel experienced a great deal of pain because of that. Whenever I think to myself whether I could bear such a pain, I always come to the same result: No, I possibly could not.
As a result of that, Aysel naturally got so exhausted and consequently, she got sick. Although her illness was first accepted and reported by the Forensic Medicine Institute, the report was later changed and they reported that it was OK for her “to remain in prison”.
However, Aysel should be released and be able to continue her life outside. Unfortunately, the Forensic Medicine Institution, as an official expert institution, prepared a report, what was simply asked from them. Acting like a gunman of the government, the institute prepared a report, which does not comply with human rights, law and science, and they made Aysel stay in prison.
Figen Yüksekdağ and Gültan Kışanak have also experienced same pain of loss recently. They have both lost their father while they have been in prison and they were not even allowed to see their father for one last time because of the government’s “enemy law”. When Gültan’s father got worse, Gültan wanted to see her father for the last time, which was her legal right. But as a result of so called, “enemy law”, she was not granted this right of hers. And Gültan lost her father not being able to see him for the last time. Unfortunately, she was only able to see her father at his funeral when he was buried.
We didn’t talk much about political issues when we met in prison that day. In fact, we all shared our grief and pain as women who lost their relatives. Unfortunately, where we live, the official ideology is extremely dominant. Even the victims are subjected to discrimination.
When people demand the release of jailed civilian politicians and prisoners of thought, some of these prisoners are purposefully forgotten; even the opposition does not see their unjust and cruel suffering.
That’s why, I wanted to remind you of my friends once again. There is a people, who always remembers them and never forgets them. And of course, there are supporters of them.
But since the opposition does not recognise their suffering as they are supposed to do, I appeal one more time: Put an end to this inhumane and unlawful injustice inflicted upon Kurdish politicians as soon as possible.