The Turkish Ministry of Justice has denied recent claims that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) met with Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan in İmrali Island Prison in the hopes of winning Kurdish votes ahead of the elections.
The ministry released documents and statements on Sunday showing that a technical team was sent to the island to assess and repair damage caused by a storm that hit the area on 5-7 February.
This comes after the leader of the opposition bloc’s centre-right Good Party (İYİP), Meral Akşener, claimed that the AKP had sent a member of the judiciary to meet with Öcalan under a false name. In response, Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ denied any meeting with Öcalan and stated that the ministry would release the relevant documentation.
The debates about a suspected meeting between the AKP and Öcalan began after journalist Amed Dicle’s remarks on the subject, arguing that the Turkish government, unable to get the reponse it had desired from Öcalan during the alleged meetings, had intensified the PKK leader’s isolation.
Öcalan has been denied access to his family and lawyers for over two years and Öcalan’s lawyers recently released a statement objecting to speculative discussion and recalling that their client had been incommunicado for 25 months. They also revealed details of the strict isolation in İmralı prison, and called for an end to it.