The EUTCC deems the CPT’s failure to visit İmralı Prison Island a neglect of responsibilities and labels the isolation of Abdullah Öcalan as a form of torture.


The response of Council of Europe’s anti-torture committee, the CPT, to the situation in Turkey’s İmralı High-Security Prison is “totally unacceptable” and not in line with the committee’s mandate, the European Union Turkey Civic Commission (EUTCC) said in a statement on Sunday.

The EUTCC’s press release comes after the Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) conducted an ad hoc visit to Turkey 13 – 22 February. The visit aimed to assess the conditions and treatment of prisoners, with particular attention on those detained at İmralı High-Security Prison, including the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan.

Despite engaging with numerous Turkish officials, including the Minister of Justice Yılmaz Tunç, the CPT delegation did not visit İmralı Island. This omission has been highlighted given the ongoing incommunicado detention of Öcalan, who has been denied family and lawyer visits or calls for the past three years. The EUTCC deemed the CPT’s failure to visit the island a neglect of its responsibilities and labelled the isolation of Öcalan as a form of torture.

The EUTCC urged the CPT to provide an immediate explanation for its actions regarding the prison and called on the Council of Europe to employ all available mechanisms to rectify this “lawlessness”.