Turkish institutions formed a unified block to counter a Turkish court’s ruling earlier this month demanding the release of prominent Kurdish politician Aysel Tuğluk, who has been kept in prison despite being diagnosed with dementia, Mezopotamya News Agency reported.
Five different institutions, including the Justice Ministry, Ankara Public Prosecutor’s Office, National Intelligence (MİT), as well as the police and the gendarmerie officially objected to the August 6 ruling of a heavy penal court in Ankara which ordered the release of the politician due to her severe illness.
The Ankara 22nd Heavy Penal Court oversees what is publicly known as the Kobane trial, in which 108 politicians of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) are facing prison charges over Kobane protests that took place in October 2014. Despite the court’s decision for the release of Tuğluk, the 57-year-old politician remained in prison due to her 10-year sentence in another case.
Turkey’s Constitutional Court also rejected on August 12 an application submitted by Tuğluk’s lawyers for her immediate release.
Tuğluk, who has been in prison since 2016 over terrorism charges, was diagnosed with dementia in February 2021. The politician, who was the chairwoman of the Democratic Society Party (DTP), which was shut down by Turkish authorities over alleged terrorist links, was accused of terrorist propaganda over her speeches and events she attended.
Tuğluk lost her mother while she was in prison. A fascist mob attack at her mother’s funeral ceremony triggered her dementia, according to the politician’s friends.
Gültan Kışanak, another jailed Kurdish politician who is also Tuğluk’s cellmate, told Bianet that Tuğluk must be released without further delay and should receive treatment.
“We have been watching Aysel for 24 hours a day. Because it is impossible to predict what she will forget, what she will confuse, and which types of risks she might face,” Kışanak said.
“Her friends support her in daily tasks such as getting dressed, eating, taking her meds and taking baths,” she added.