HEDEP's Öcalan visit possible ‘if deemed appropriate,’ parliamentary commission says

The Turkish Parliament’s Human Rights Investigation Commission has stated the pro-Kurdish HEDEP’s visit to jailed PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan was possible “if it is deemed appropriate.” Öcalan has been kept under isolation in İmralı Island and has been imposed a contact ban for 33 months.

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The pro-Kurdish People’s Equality and Democracy Party’s (HEDEP) visit to jailed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan might be possible “if it is deemed appropriate,” the Turkish Parliament’s Human Rights Investigation Commission said, the Mesopotamia News Agency reported on Dec. 8.

The HEDEP deputies applied to the commission, requesting to visit Öcalan in İmralı Island where he has been imprisoned.

In response, the commission said it was possible for such a visit “if deemed appropriate by the Convict and Detainee Rights Examination Sub-Commission, established within our Commission, upon an on-site examination.”

PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan has been kept in isolation for 24 years in F Type High-Security Prison on İmralı Island in Bursa, serving life sentence. The jailed PKK leader last had a brief phone call with his brother on March 25, 2021. Since the interrupted phone call, no information has been received from Öcalan as well as other prisoners on the island, Hamili Yıldırım, Veysi Aktaş, and Ömer Hayri Konar.

The prison administration prevented Öcalan and other prisoners from receiving visitors with a decision taken on May 7, 2021. In addition, on Oct. 12, 2021, the Bursa 4th Execution Judgeship ruled to prevent Öcalan from meeting with his lawyers for six months. Both decisions have been extended since then.

The last time Öcalan was allowed to see his lawyers was on Aug. 7, 2019 after being unable to meet with them for eight years.