2019 is the year that the İmralı Isolation System’s reflections on law legal and political arena have become more visible in Turkey. As known, the law and political arena in Turkey, which were already antidemocratic and cause continuous dynamism of coup, have been under the rule of the Emergency Decree Laws (KHK) and the State of Emergency declared on 20 July 2016 and have been institutionalised and become permanent following incidents on 15 July 2016 and 20 July 2016 respectively coup attempt and the State of Emergency.
The most clear reflection of this period is that the Imrali Isolation System, which is implemented as a prototype, has been institutionalised and spread across the country. In fact, the Imrali isolation practices, which were developed outside the boundaries of law until 2016, have become normative practices for the whole country by adopting these practices in question as a law. It is equal to the period that the penal code, laws on criminal procedures and execution dated 2005, which were discussed also as “Öcalan Laws” and drew the borders of criminal sanctions of politics, were spread across the country.
Apart from the reflections on law, the isolation in the İmralı Prison’s relationship with various dialectics have become clearer in the politics in 2019. Mr Öcalan has made analyses, shared his ideas of solutions and methods from his perspective within the framework of the “İmralı Stance” in visits even under the conflict and tense atmosphere. There were responses, negative or positive, from different groups and figures to Mr Öcalan’s position. The responses in question demonstrated the relationship between the Isolation System of Imralı and war-peace, coup mechanics-democratization and chaos- solution dialectics in a more visible way. In this respect, Mr Öcalan stated that the isolation—both the general isolation and the period that continues for 4 years—on him is related to present wars and he has been resisting—in line with the principles of peace—to the isolation in spite of the difficulties.
As it is known, no news was received from Mr. Öcalan in 2017 and 2018. The date of last contact with Mr. Öcalan was on 11 September 2016 when concerns about the right to life increased and protests intensified. Similarly, there was an absolute isolation including ban on visits from lawyers and relatives; the communication right namely sending and/or receiving letters, telegraph, telephone in 2019. However, 2019 became also the year that people showed democratic sensitivity and raised their concerns about the problem.
Ms Leyla Güven, the MP from Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and the co-chair of the Democratic Society Congress (DTK), made the following statement in the courtroom on 7 November 2018:
“Today, the isolation is not imposed on Mr Öcalan only but on the
whole people. Isolation is a crime against humanity. For being a member of the people, I begin a hunger strike action, which is permanent and non-alternating, to protest the
isolation on Mr Öcalan.” She made the statement while she was in pre-trial detention for
15 February 2020|Peace in Kurdistan
Statement marking the 21st anniversary since Ocalan’s abduction in Nairobi, 15th February 1999, by Turkish MIT agents supported by the CIA.
It is difficult to believe that it is now more than two decades since Abdullah Ocalan, the leader and founder of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, lost his freedom. It is a reality difficult to accept because Abdullah Ocalan remains a shaping influence on the current politics of the Kurdish movement in Turkey and throughout the region. His influence has achieved a permanency as a result of the power of his ideas and the loyalty of his people. The Kurdish people and supporters worldwide were outraged as much as they were dismayed by the brutal and conspiratorial manner of Ocalan’s apprehension in a coordinated multi-state operation involving security services working across continents. He was taken to Turkey from Kenya after having his movements tracked half-way around the world. He was delivered to Turkey trussed up and supposedly humiliated like a trophy for the satisfaction of the victors and their clamouring populous.
10 February 2020|Peace in Kurdistan Campaign
Matt Nathan, Director of the Freedom for Öcalan Campaign, describes to Kurdish Journalist Aleddin Sinayic how key trade unions came to back the Freedom for Öcalan Campaign, after becoming aware of the siege of the Kurdish-majority Syrian city of Kobane imposed by Daesh (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Islamic State) and exacerbated by the Turkish state. Nathan, who is also Labour Party Councillor for Clerkenwell, discusses how UK-based trade unions came to see the libertarian socialist vision of imprisoned Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan as representing a “fulcrum around which many issues that as trade unionists we would instinctively find solidarity with”.
Celebrating 27 November 1978
For the Kurdish people, today is the 41st anniversary of the founding of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). It was a landmark in Kurdish history because this was the first time there appeared a modern, secular movement for Kurdish freedom uniting the Kurdish workers in political struggle.
8 November 2019|Alaettin Sinayic
Cambridge University Professor and author Dr. Thomas Jeffery Miley speaks with Journalist Alaettin Sinayic about Turkish state violence, Kurdish resistance and the philosophy of “democratic confederalism” which has been adopted by the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and the PYD in Syria for the better part of twenty years.