Turkish prosecutors say PKK leader Öcalan is in good health following rumors of his death

The Bursa Chief Public Prosecutor's Office on March 16 said that jailed PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan was “alive and in good health,” after rumors of his death circulated on social media. Referring to the rumors as “unfounded,” the prosecutor's office said, “We urge the public to disregard such news.” The PKK leader has not been heard from since April 27, 2020, which is when he held a phone call with his brother.

Duvar English

The chief public prosecutor's office in the northwestern province of Bursa on March 16 released a written statement saying that jailed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan was in good health.

The prosecutors' statement came after rumors suggesting Öcalan's death circulated on social media on March 14.

Referring to the rumors as “unfounded,” the Bursa Chief Public Prosecutor's Office said: “The convict is alive and he is in good health. We urge the public to disregards such news.”

Rumors circulated on social media on March 14 that the jailed PKK leader had passed away, leading to concerns both among his lawyers and his family.

The Asrın Law Office released a statement on March 15 saying that they demand contact with Öcalan for the “concerns to be cleared.”

The lawyers noted that the last time they were allowed to visit Öcalan on the İmralı Island was in August 2019.

Öcalan's brother Mehmet Öcalan also commented on the rumors saying that he was concerned about them and authorities have not yet informed him about the PKK leader's health. He said the last time he was allowed to see his brother on the İmralı Island was on March 3, 2020, which took place upon concerns of fire on the island.

The PKK leader's last phone call was to his brother which took place on April 27, 2020. He has not been heard from since.

After an eight-year ban on lawyer-client meeting, Öcalan was allowed to meet his lawyers on May 2, 2019 following hunger strikes and death fasts.

Another four meetings were held on May 22, June 12, June 18 and Aug. 7 of the same year, but his lawyers haven't been receiving any responses to their applications ever since.