A STATEMENT BY ABDULLAH ÖCALAN’S LAWYERS

Asrin Law Office lawyers held a press conference today on the meeting Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Öcalan held with his lawyers on May 2. Lawyers Faik Özgür Erol, Newroz Uysal and Rezan Sarica were present in the conference.

Faik Özgür Erol said:

“Esteemed journalists, the press statement we are about to release today is on the lawyers’ visit to the Imrali Island to meet with Mr. Abdullah Öcalan on May 2. Four lawyers applied to visit the client, but only two of the lawyers were allowed and those two lawyers were the ones to hold the meeting.

The two lawyers who held the consultation were Newroz Uysal and Rezan Sarica. They will read two texts to you, one of them is the Asrin Law Office statement in relation to the consultation and the other is a public announcement and a call by Mr. Öcalan and 3 other clients of ours who are also held in the Imrali island prison.

It took until the weekend for the statement of our clients to reach us, so the announcement had to be postponed until today.

With that said, it is significant to share these statements on May 6, an important day for the struggle for democracy in Turkey. Now I leave the microphone to my colleagues.”

The statement read by Öcalan’s lawyer Rezan Sarica on behalf of the lawyers is as follows:

A lawyer-client consultation was held with our client, Mr. Abdullah Öcalan, who is held in İmralı F Type High Security Prison on 02 May 2019. This is the first lawyer-client consultation held since 27 July 2011, after 810 applications. The Bursa Assize Court, which decided on an application made by the lawyers about two weeks before this consultation took place, has notified us that the ban on lawyer-client consultations for all our clients at İmralı has been lifted.

The application we made to hold the lawyer-client consultation also included requests for meeting with our other clients, Mr. Veysi Aktaş, Mr Hamili Yıldırım and Mr. Ömer Hayri Konar, who are also in the İmralı Prison. But we were not allowed to hold consultations with them. In addition, the application was made on behalf of four lawyers as per usual but only two lawyers were allowed to hold the lawyer-client consultation. Exchange of notes and documents were not allowed during the consultation. In the aftermath of this consultation, the family / guardian application for Monday (May 6th) was not accepted although there were no legal obstacles.

In İmralı Prison, Mr. Öcalan has not been able to hold a lawyer-client consultation with his lawyers for almost the last 8 years. We have not held a single lawyer-client consultation with the other three clients. In addition, the fact that the request for consultation of some of the lawyers making the application were rejected raises concerns in relation to the continuity of the right to lawyer-client consultations and family visits, and the attainment of related legal security. Neither we nor our client have any information or foresight in relation to whether the lawyer-client consultations will continue periodically.

In addition, during the consultation we learned from Mr. Öcalan that he does not receive the daily press delivered to the administration to be given to him. The fact that the correspondence, such as communication with his lawyers, has been blocked confirms the limitations placed on the right to communication. We invite the authorities to duty and the public to awareness so that the legal rights of Mr. Abdullah Öcalan are established immediately, who insists on his peaceful position despite all the impossibilities under absolute isolation conditions.

The duration of consultation on 02.05.2019 was approximately one hour. Mr Öcalan requested a document signed by him and the other three clients to be given to his lawyers; the document was delivered to us on the weekend. The document, which is like an announcement to the public, is as follows;

There is a need for a deep social reconciliation in this historic process we are experiencing.

There is an urgent need for a method of democratic negotiations, away from all kinds of polarization and culture of conflict in the solution of problems.

We can solve the problems in Turkey, and even in the region — first and foremost the war — with soft power; that is with intelligence, political and cultural power instead of tools of physical violence.

We believe that within the scope of Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the culture of conflict should be avoided in relation to the problems in Syria; they should aim to convey their own position and situation to a solution based on a local democracy perspective that has constitutional guarantee within the framework of Syria’s unity. In this context, there should also be awareness of Turkey’s sensibilities.

While we respect the resistance of friends inside and outside of prisons, we would like to emphasize that they should not take it to the level where they will endanger their health or result in death. For us, their mental, physical and spiritual health is paramount. We also believe that the most meaningful approach is related to the development of mental and spiritual stance.

Our stance in Imrali has the determination to continue what we expressed in the 2013 Newroz Declaration by further deepening and clarifying it.

For us, a dignified peace and democratic political solution are essential.

We pay tribute to all those who have been concerned and took a stand in response to our stance in İmralı, and we would like to convey our immense gratitude.

A.ÖCALAN         

H.YILDIRIM                         

Ö. H.KONAR                        

V.AKTAŞ

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