Green Left Party MP Ömer Öcalan urged Turkey’s newly appointed Minister of Justice, Yılmaz Tunç, to put an end to the harsh conditions of isolation imposed on prisoners in İmralı island prison.
The Kurdish politician who is also the nephew of Abdullah Öcalan, leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), expressed his concerns on Twitter regarding the prolonged state of incommunicado that his uncle has endured for the past 27 months. He emphasised that the termination of Öcalan’s isolation should not be postponed any further.
The politician described the isolation in İmralı as a clear indicator of injustice and lawlessness within Turkey. “The aggravated isolation, which is carried out in disregard of both national and international law, is a grave violation of the most fundamental universal right to life. It is a severe torture spread over time,” he said.
Öcalan’s statement came following the appointment of Yılmaz Tunç as the new justice minister, replacing Bekir Bozdağ in a cabinet reshuffle that occurred after Turkey’s recent parliamentary and presidential elections.
PKK leader Öcalan has been held in solitary confinement on İmralı Island since his arrest in 1999. He has been denied access to his lawyers and family members, with all forms of communication strictly controlled by the Turkish authorities, and held incommunicado for over two years.