Turkey refuses release of convict imprisoned for 30 years despite completion of sentence, citing 'low life energy'

The Turkish authorities refused to release the convict imprisoned for 30 years even though he has served his sentence because he has "low life energy" and "does not answer questions about the PKK.”

Ceren Bayar / Gazete Duvar

Turkish authorities have denied the release of Feyzi Ayzit, who entered prison in 1992 and was supposed to be released in February 2023, citing reasons that he "did not respond to questions related to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan" during his interview and had "low life energy.”

The decision included evaluations from a report prepared by the prison administration where he is incarcerated.

According to a regulation enacted in 2021, prisoners who have completed their court-ordered sentence are interviewed by an oversight board in prisons when their conditional release date arrives. For instance, a prisoner who received a six-year sentence can have their conditional release date in the third year if the court said so.

The report mentioned that he had good relations with his family, that it was not thought that he would return to the substance addiction he had left in prison, that he participated in sportive, cultural, and social activities.

The report also included some negative evaluations about Ayzit, such as "not participating in the activities organized by the spiritual guidance unit, not complying with the ward room layout and sleeping plan, and having many negative behaviors towards the prison administration and staff.”

One of the mains reason given for not releasing him was also his answers to questions in an interview.

In the interview, Ayzit was asked "Is Abdullah Öcalan a traitor," "Do you accept the PKK as a terrorist organization," Do you acknowledge the existence of the Republic of Turkey," "Can you name the organizations opposed to the Turkey.”

Ayzit responded to these questions by saying that he would only answer questions about himself.

The report assessed that he "gave evasive answers" to the questions and that "he was not sincere in his statements” and that “his ties with the PKK continued.”

The prison authorities stated that he did not develop any sense of remorse for the crime he committed and it was evaluated that he was inclined to commit offenses again.

The verdict also stated that "his life energy is low  and his motivation to change his attitude and behavior is low.” 

The report also stated, “Ayzit did not feel uncomfortable being in the same ward with members of the terrorist organization and he did not give up the radical ideas of the organization.”

Yozgat Execution Judgeship ruled that Ayzit was not in good behavior and should not be released on the grounds that "the convict may have difficulty in adapting to the rules and norms required by collective life and that he was not ready to integrate with the society in this state.”

Oversight boards in Turkish prison administrations have been denying the release of at least 217 prisoners who have reached their court-imposed conditional release dates due to a “lack of good conduct."

(English version by Can Bodrumlu)