Turkish prison postpones release of convict of 31 years for ‘lack of remorse’

A Turkish prison has postponed the court-mandated release of convict Ali Koç for over a year, claiming he did not admit remorse as imposed on him by the parole board. Koç has completed his sentence after serving over 31 years in prison.

Duvar English

A prison in Turkey has postponed prisoner Ali Koç’s release for an additional three months, citing his lack of remorse as imposed by the parole board. A State Security Court in southeastern Diyarbakır province in 1992 arrested Koç.

Turkey’s State Security Courts oversaw cases related to the internal and external security of the government and the state. They were first introduced in 1972 and then reintroduced via 1981’s coup constitution. Their independence and objectivity of the courts were contested, as their military judges extensively ruled against Kurdish activists. A 2004 constitutional amendment abolished the courts and distributed their duties to other heavy penal courts. 

Koç has served over 31 years of his life sentence in various prisons across Turkey, on the charges of “disrupting the country’s unity and integrity.” His release was expected on Dec. 15, 2022.

However, the parole board postponed the release for a year citing Koç’s disciplinary punishments and close relationship with other political prisoners, according to reporting by the Mesopotamia Agency. 

The parol board again decided Koç did not exhibit “good behavior,” and postponed his release for an additional three months during an evaluation in January.

Koç said to his family members that the board did not allow 14 prisoners to use their right to be released on probation although they had completed their sentences. Koç wants to raise public awareness of this rights violation by the Karabük Prison in Turkey’s Black Sea region.