Duvar English

The brother of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan, Mehmet Öcalan, and his lawyers have filed an application with the Bursa Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office requesting a permission to visit İmralı Island.

Mehmet Öcalan and lawyers indicated in their application that they want to be granted a visit on a day between May 20-22, Mezopotamya news agency reported on May 15. Öcalan has been imprisoned on İmralı Island near Istanbul since he was captured in 1999.

Families of three other PKK-member inmates on the İmralı Island, i.e. Ömer Hayri Konar, Hamili Yıldırım and Veysi Aktaş, have also applied to the Bursa Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office, requesting permission to hold a phone conversation with their relatives.

The last time family members contacted Öcalan was on April 27, when they held a telephone conversation. This was the first time ever Turkish authorities allowed Öcalan to speak with his family on the phone — since his imprisonment two decades ago. Öcalan spoke with his brother Mehmet Öcalan during this telephone conversation.

Three other inmates on the İmralı Island also held telephone conversations with their family members on April 27 – for the first time since being brought to İmralı Island in 2015.

In May of last year, Turkish authorities lifted an eight-year-long ban on lawyer visits for Öcalan. Since then, lawyers were allowed to meet the PKK leader only five times despite 100 applications made in 2019. These meetings took place on May 2, May 22, June 12, June 18 and Aug. 7 of last year, and since then, lawyers’ applications did not a green light.

As for other prisoners Ömer Hayri Konar, Hamili Yıldırım and Veysi Aktaş who are called Öcalan’s secretariat by pro-Kurdish media, they have not been allowed to see their lawyers since 2015.

Konar and Aktaş were allowed to meet with their relatives only three times during their period, i.e. on June 5, Aug. 12, 2019 and March 2, 2020. As for Yıldırım, he met with his family members only two times since his imprisonment on the İmralı Island in 2015, i.e. on June 5 and Aug. 12, 2019.