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Ocalans lawyers host press conference after first visit in eight years

Ocalans lawyers host press conference after first visit in eight years

Abdullah Ocalan’s legal team hosted a shock press conference today in Istanbul after two of his four man team were allowed to spend an hour with Mr Ocalan at Imrali prison on the 2nd of May 2019.

He has been kept in extreme isolation at Imrali Island Prison for twenty years, ever since his abduction in Kenya outside the Greek embassy in 1999.

Öcalan is denied access to newspaper and TV news. It is as yet unclear if this is a temporary reaction to the ongoing hunger strikes world wide that had reached a deadly phase or if this represents a broader thawing of relations.

It is also unclear if this means that further visits from Mr Ocalan’s legal team, allowed under Turkish law, will be permitted.

Lawyers for Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Öcalan held a press conference at the Taksim Hill Hotel in Istanbul regarding the meeting they were allowed with their client. The conference was attended by lawyers Faik Özgür Erol, Newroz Uysal and Rezan Sarıca from Asrın Law Office.

The meeting between Öcalan and his lawyers on May 2nd lasted one hour. The meeting was the first one held since 27 July 2011 when the Kurdish leader was last allowed to meet with his lawyers. Since then, lawyers for Öcalan submitted a total of 810 appeals to visit him on Imralı Island Prison.

Full text of the statement read by lawyer Newroz Uysal on Monday, with the signature of Abdullah Öcalan and three other prisoners on Imralı, is as follows;

There is a need for a deep social reconciliation in this historic process we are experiencing.

There is an urgent need for a method of democratic negotiations, away from any and all polarization and culture of conflict for the solution of problems.

We can solve the problems in Turkey, and even in the region, starting with the war, with soft power – with intelligence and political and cultural strength instead of tools of physical violence.

We believe that through the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), all should aim to solve the issues in Syria by refraining from conflict culture and within the perspective of local democracy guaranteed by the Constitution in the framework of Syria’s unity. As such, Turkey’s sensibilities should be minded.

With all due respect for the resistance of friends in and outside of prisons, we would like to stress that they should not take it to a level threatening their health or resulting in death. For us, their mental, physical and spiritual health is paramount. We also believe that the most meaningful approach is related to developing a mental and spiritual stance.

Our stance in Imrali is to deepen and clarify the method of expression we declared with the Newroz 2013 statement and to continue on this path.

For us, a dignified peace and democratic political solution are paramount.

We commend all those who have been concerned and took a stand about our staying in Imrali, and we would like to offer our immense gratitude.

A.Ocalan , H.Yildirim, H.Konar, V.Aktas
By Freedom for Ocalan

The Freedom for Öcalan campaign is a UK trade union-backed initiative to secure the release of imprisoned Kurdish political prisoner Abdullah Öcalan.

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