Top Turkish court rejects application on contact ban with jailed PKK leader

Turkey's Constitutional Court has rejected the application of lawyers with regards to a contact ban imposed on jailed PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan and the three other PKK members on the İmralı Island.

Duvar English

Turkey's Constitutional Court has rejected the Asrın Law Office's application to have contact with four imprisoned members of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), including Abdullah Öcalan, on the İmralı Island.

The decision was notified to the lawyers on Jan. 31, Mezopotamya news agency reported on Feb. 3.

The Asrın Law Office filed an application with the top court, saying that neither they nor the families had heard from the four convicts, including PKK leader Öcalan, for the last ten months, and that this is against the Constitution.

The last time Öcalan had a phone conversation with his brother was on March 25, 2021. He was last able to meet with his lawyers in May, June, and August of 2019 after being unable to meet with them for eight years.

Hamili Yıldırım, Veysi Aktaş and Ömer Hayri Konar joined Öcalan in İmralı in 2015. The three men are, like Öcalan, kept in solitary confinement. Despite 750 applications for lawyer visitation and 350 applications for family visitation, the men have largely been kept isolated.

The lawyers said that in addition to their advanced age and health, the absolute isolation that the prisoners have been exposed to for such a long time threatens their mental and physical integrity.

The top court rejected the lawyers' application, saying: “It has been understood that the applicants have the opportunity to access health services, that there are restrictions imposed on their meetings with their visitors and lawyers, and that there is no serious danger to their lives or material or moral integrity due to their detention.”

Last year, families of the prisoners brought the case before the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), saying that their visitation rights were being violated.