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

Faik Ozgur 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 Ocalan on May 2. Four lawyers appealed to visit the client, but only two of the lawyers were approved and those two lawyers were the ones to hold the meeting.

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

It took until the weekend for this text to reach us, so the announcement had to be postponed until today.

With that said, it is significant to share these announcements 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 Ocalan’s lawyer Rezan Sarica is as follows:

“We held a meeting with our client Abdullah Ocalan who is held in the Imrali Type F High Security Prison on May 2, 2019. This was the first lawyers’ visit since July 27, 2011, with 810 appeals from then until now. Bursa Heavy Penal Court had issued a ruling on one of our appeals some two weeks ago and announced that the ban against lawyers’ visits was lifted for all our clients in Imrali.

Our appeal to visit also included our other clients. Mr. Veysi Aktas, Mr. Hamilli Yildirim and Mr. Omer Hayri Konar, but they were not permitted. The appeal to visit was made with 4 lawyers as in the past, but only 2 lawyers were allowed.

APPEAL FOR FAMILY VISIT REJECTED

The exchange of notes or documents were not allowed during the visit. An appeal for a family visit was filed after this meeting for May 6, but it was rejected despite there being no legal obstacle.

Mr. Ocalan was not allowed to meet with his lawyers for almost 8 years, and the other 3 clients in Imrali still haven’t. Some lawyers’ appeals were rejected. That creates doubt that the right to family and lawyer visits will be continued or legally safeguarded. Neither we nor our client have any information that would suggest lawyers’ visits will periodically continue.

A MEETING OF ONE HOUR

During the visit, Mr. Ocalan informed us that the daily newspapers and journals submitted to the administration to be given to him are not delivered and letters and other correspondence with his lawyers has been barred, confirming a restriction of the right to communication. Mr. Abdullah Ocalan has insistently kept his peaceful position despite the absolute isolation and all the lack of resources. We urge authorities to do their duty and reinstate his legal rights at once, and we call on the public for awareness.

The meeting on May 2, 2019 was approximately 1 hour long. Mr. Ocalan requested a document signed by our 3 other clients and himself to be given to us, and the document in question reached us this weekend.”

Full text of the statement with the signature of Abdullah Öcalan and three other prisoners on Imralı, read by lawyer Newroz Uysal,  is as follows;

“TO THE PUBLIC

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, far removed from any and all polarization and culture of conflict for the solution of problems.

We can solve the problems in Turkey, and even in the region, starting with the war, with soft power – with intelligence and political and cultural strength instead of tools of physical violence.

We believe that through the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), all should aim to solve the issues in Syria by refraining from conflict culture and within the perspective of local democracy guaranteed by the Constitution in the framework of Syria’s unity. As such, Turkey’s concerns should be taken into account.

With all due respect for the resistance of friends in and outside of prisons, we would like to stress that they should not take it to the level to threaten their health or result in deaths. For us, their mental, physical and spiritual health is above all. We also believe that the most meaningful approach is connected to developing a mental and spiritual stance.

Our stance in Imrali is to deepen and clarify the method of expression we declared with the Newroz 2013 statement and to continue on this path.

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

We commend all who were concerned and all who took a stand with respect due to our stance in Imrali, and we would like to offer our immense gratitude.

A. ÖCALAN     H. YILDIRIM    Ö. H. KONAR    V. AKTAŞ