Council of Europe / Conseil de l’Europe

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To CPT officials,

Re: Demand for urgent meeting with Abdullah Ocalan

 As you are well aware, the coup attempt in Turkey on 15th July 2016 proved to be unsuccessful, but it is clear that the aftermath will have significant political implications.

When President Tayyip Erdogan took a decision to intensify the war on the Kurds and destroy Kurdish towns and cities a year ago, at the same time he took measures to repress Kurdish civil society. The immunities on MPs were removed which was seen as aimed at the HDP in particular and Mayors were imprisoned and removed from their posts. The scale of this repression of the Kurdish people was unprecedented in recent history.

It is these atrocities and anti-democratic policies implemented by the AKP in Turkey and Kurdistan that have paved the way for the coup attempt of 15 July. Following the failure of the coup, President Erdogan has extended the repressive measures throughout the country.

We can say this with confidence that had the 7 June, 2015 election results been respected and the conflict resolution process been continued, then there would not have even been any coup attempt. The Kurdish question’s existence and a lack of democratisation in Turkey have always been a basis for coups.

In these uncertain circumstances, we have grave concerns about the well being of Mr. Abdullah Ocalan. This concern is shared by his family, his lawyers, the Kurdish people and the wider public. Unfortunately, the pronouncements and actions of the government do little to allay these concerns.

During his meetings with his lawyers, the state and the HDP delegations, Mr Abdullah Ocalan had always warned of this possibility of a coup 15 months ago. In such a situation of violence and counter-violence, his safety would be under threat.

At this critical moment, we call upon the CPT to uphold its responsibilities. The CPT must allay all concerns for Mr. Abdullah Ocalan’s safety and well-being. The CPT must meet with Mr. Ocalan but also demand that his lawyers and family are allowed to meet with him too.

For millions of people, Mr Abdullah Ocalan is their political leader and his well-being is of the utmost concern for them. Any hesitance and inaction by the CPT would aggravate the concerns which are legitimate and humane. To alleviate these concerns, the CPT must act with the utmost urgency and demand to meet Mr Abdullah Ocalan face to face at Imrali Island.

We look forward to an urgent action.


Yours sincerely