IHD Batman: “Öcalan is the only person who can lead the way to peace”

Devran Yildiz co-chair of the Human Rights Association (IHD) Batman Branch, evaluated the continue isolation in Imralı. Kurdish people’s leader Abdullah Öcalan is in Imralı for 20 years and has not been seen since 7 August .

Reminding that Öcalan has been held in solitary confinement basically since he was brought to Turkey in 1999, Yildiz said that Imralı prison system is ruled by unlawfulness and illegality which is further increased each passing day.

Yildiz added: “Imralı Prison system is violating all norms of international law. Every convict has the right to meet with his lawyers and family. But Turkey simply does not comply with it. The government is undermining human rights with its Imralı policies.

Mr. Öcalan is a key role for Turkey’s stability and peace. The isolation system imposed on Öcalan affects other prisons and in fact isolation is spreading all over the country.”

As isolation deepens, war increases

Yildiz reminded that during the [2015] period of talks with Imralı and the opening of a possible democratic way in Turkey, it was Öcalan who helped achieving the cessation of clashes. “As the isolation of Mr. Öcalan deepens, the war against the Kurdish people is also increasing. The attacks against Rojava continue and many HDP municipalities have been seized, detention and arrests are increasing. The main reason for isolation is war.”

Yildiz added that the government wants to defeat peace supporters with war methods. But whatever happens, he said, peace supporters will defeat those who want war. Yildiz also underlined that “the only person who will pave the way to peace is Mr. Öcalan. The path of peace passes through Imralı. Important steps will be taken when the isolation is removed.”

CPT is not playing its role

Stressing that war policies should be abandoned as soon as possible, Yildiz said: “It is time to follow democratic channels. Before the hunger strike resistance, the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) went to Imralı and at that time the Minister of Justice made a statement saying that the ban on lawyers and family visits had been lifted. The CPT is moving with the states, and the CPT came to Batman a while ago: all the institutions were aware of this visit, except us. The CPT is making interviews and reports but this is too little. The CPT is actually not fulfilling its role.”