“The system of isolation and torture on Imralı has been designed and applied day and night 24/7, just as the international conspiracy of 15 February was designed and applied as a NATO-Gladio operation,” writes Meral Çiçek for Yeni Özgür Politika.
Eastern State Penitentiary was the most ‘infamous’ prison of its time, not just because Al Capone, the well-known mafia leader, was an inmate of this prison once, but also because this Philadelphia prison was the first ”correction house’, in which isolation was applied systematically for the first time or rather it was the first prison, in which isolation and torture was designed as a system.
When this prison opened its doors in 1829 for the ‘criminals’ who needed to be ‘rehabilitated’, it was designated as an architectural masterpiece. This prison, which seemed like a castle from Middle Ages when looked at from the outside and horrified the prisoners when they first entered, consisted of 7 long tall blocks, all linked to the centre. This is one of the first structures, in which the Panopticon type of a prison was adopted that was developed by Jeremy Bentham in 1785.
The prison was the prototype of the idea of isolation. It was prohibited for the inmates jailed in single-person cells to talk or communicate with anyone within or outside the prison. All cells have their own fresh air areas, which forbids the prisoners to see or talk to each other on their fresh air time of one-hour. There was no rights for visits. The only book allowed to read was the Bible.
Eastern State Penitentiary is the prototype of Imralı Island Prison. Actually it reveals that far from being ‘domestic’ or ‘national’, the isolation system of Imralı is quite American.
The system of isolation and torture on Imralı has beeen designed and applied day and night for 7/24, just as the international conspiracy of 15 February was designed and applied as a NATO-Gladio operation.
The isolation and torture system imposed upon leader Apo (Abdullah Öcalan) is not applied anywhere in world, in the particular form that is applied on Imralı. Whilst no inmate is jailed alone on the prison island, all of the basic rights the prisoners should have under international law (such a the right to be visited, the right to communicate via telephone call or letter etc.) have been so recklessley violated. The isolation and torture imposed on leader Apo is unique.
If it was only the Republic of Turkey behind the application of this system, the 22 years of struggle against isolation would have eventually succeeded within this period of time, but the US and the NATO, that is the capitalist hegemony itself, stands behind this system. This reaity is shown clearly in the attitude of the Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT), the delegation of which did not visit Imralı Island on their last visit to Turkey.
Therefore, it is very important to launch and support the international campaign for the Freedom for Abdullah Öcalan, considering and acknowledging the international and interstate characteristic of the system of isolation and torture on Imralı. The struggle to be waged in order to overthrow the system of isolation on Imralı has all the opportunities today, more than ever, to address the international powers supporting this concept of isolation.