Turkey’s north-western İmralı island appears to be subject to its own unique laws, according to Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) MP Ayşe Sürücü who spoke at Justice Watch protest outside the Turkish parliament on Tuesday.
HDP MPs gathered for day 29 of a protest against the isolated conditions endured by Abdullah Öcalan, the Kurdish leader serving an aggravated life sentence at İmralı, and in particular the absolute incommunicado status imposed on the political prisoner since 2021.
MPs held banners that read, “Let the law be applied in İmralı”, and asked why Turkish law is not applied to the prison island.
Sürücü drew attention to the routine use of isolation as a policy in prisons across the country. “Sick prisoners are left to die. Coffins come out of prisons every day. All of these are directly related to isolation,” said Ayşe Sürücü.
She also noted that most of the budget is devoted to war in Turkey and added that such policies only serve to deepen the economic crisis in the country.
Sürücü stressed that Öcalan holds a vital role of peacemaker within the Turkish-Kurdish conflict and pointed to his negotiations with high-state officials in 2015.
The HDP MP concluded that the vigil would continue until the conditions of absolute isolation imposed on Öcalan and the other three prisoners in İmralı Prison are retracted.