A women’s platform founded to advocate for Kurdish politician Aysel Tuğluk’s release from prison has launched a renewed call with a campaign on social media for an end to the torture being inflicted on the imprisoned politician.
The 1000 Women for Aysel Tuğluk
platform called for an end to the torture being inflicted on Tuğluk, who has been imprisoned since 2016 and has been suffering from dementia, with the hashtag #AyselTuğlukaİşkenceyeSon (End the torture against Aysel Tuğluk) on 30 and 31 July.
As part of the campaign, a group of women including politicians, lawyers and actress Tilbe Saran released videos that included details of Tuğluk’s condition and calls to become “Aysel Tuğluk’s voice.”
Tuğluk, who led efforts in Turkey to implement co-chairing of genders in political parties in 2005 before becoming the co-chair of the Democratic Society Party (DTP), was given a ten-year prison sentence on “terrorism” charges and has been held in Kandıra high-security prison since 2016. In 2017, she lost her mother Hatun Tuğluk, whose funeral ceremony in the capital Ankara was marred by a an attack on the funeral by a Turkish racist mob, traumatising the politician and reportedly exasperating her dementia condition.
The platform’s move came after the Turkish state’s Forensic Medicine Institute prepared a report earlier this month that deemed Tuğluk eligible to be imprisoned despite listing symptoms that point to the gravity of her condition. The platform said that Tuğluk is having trouble continuing her life on her own in prison and that her health is declining with each day.
The institute’s report contradicts those of independent reports that were sought before, which acknowledged Tuğluk’s deteriorating health and deemed her unfit to be kept in prison.
Although Tuğluk was seen to be forgetful and confused with her statements in court, the court administrator in charge of the ongoing Kobane case asked her on Thursday to personally tell the court that she can’t testify and that her lawyer should continue the defence.
“This is torture and it is unlawful,” Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputy Ayşe Acar Başaran said on Twitter on Saturday.
“Let’s defend Aysel Tuğluk’s freedom on all platforms,” she added.
The 1000 Women for Aysel Tuğluk platform has created a petition for her release and there are currently over 6,300 signatures.