Former Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) MP for Turkey’s Mardin (Merdîn) province, Gülser Yıldırım, after completing her sentence as a political prisoner on Tuesday, called on Turkey to release sick prisoners, like Aysel Tuğluk, who is incarcerated with dementia, Mezopotamya News Agency reported.
Yıldırım’s release was welcomed at the HDP building in Turkey’s Mardin, where she said that many Kurdish politicians are still in prison, mentioning Gültan Kışanak and imprisoned former founding co-chair of the Democratic Society Party (DTP), Aysel Tuğluk.
“If I had the chance to choose, I would have preferred Aysel to be released in my place,” said Yıldırım, who has been held in the same prison as Aysel Tuğluk, Kandıra Prison in Turkey’s northwestern Kocaeli province. “My heart remains there,” she added.
Tuğluk was diagnosed with dementia in February 2021 while behind bars. Her health has been deteriorating as her condition advances, and she is less able to take care of her daily self-care needs.
Stating that Tuğluk is very ill and should be released, Yıldırım asked, “What kind of hostility is this that keeps Aysel behind bars?”
The Constitutional Court rejected the release application for Tuğluk in August, despite the Forensic Medicine Institute (ATK) reporting that her condition was likely to decline and that her dementia would advance under prison conditions.
Turkish Minister of Justice said arrested Kurdish politician Aysel Tuğluk’s state of health will be re-evaluated as he announced a new regulation for sick prisoners in September. However, there has been no legal development in this regard since then.