Women’s organizations demand release of sick Kurdish politician and detainee Aysel Tuğluk

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68 women’s organizations issued a joint statement on the deteriorating state of health of former People’s Democratic Party (HDP) MP Aysel TuÄŸluk, detained at Kocaeli Prison.

In a statement released by his lawyers a few days ago, it was pointed out that Aysel TuÄŸluk, who has been behind bars since 2016, suffers from memory loss and cannot carry out his daily activities on his own.

Istanbul’s Forensic Medicine Institution in mid-September said “she can stay in jail” for the jailed politician. The report from the Kocaeli Medical Institution stated that “she could not stay in prison”. The requests for the release of his lawyers are repeatedly rejected.

In this context, 68 women’s rights organizations issued a written statement today (December 21) and declared: “It is time to show solidarity with Aysel TuÄŸluk”, stressing that “the administrative and judicial authorities who have ignored the announcement that “she cannot stay in prison ‘will be responsible for any adverse consequences regarding TuÄŸluk’s health.”

The organizations also urged the authorities to release TuÄŸluk so that his treatment can continue under the necessary conditions.

The full statement is as follows:

“Act in accordance with the law, science, conscience”

“One of the Kurdish politicians imprisoned in the F-type prison of Kocaeli No. 1 since December 2016 is Aysel Tuğluk.

“Aysel TuÄŸluk is the first woman to have co-chaired a political party in the history of Kurdish political parties and the only woman to have been politically banned because she was banned from politics after the closure of the Democratic Society Party. She is also a lawyer, human rights defender and politician who has dedicated her whole life to the Kurds’ struggle for freedom and equality which will lead to an honorable peace.

“Her efforts, her struggle and her position in the life to which she has devoted have deeply marked our recent political history.

“As everyone knows, she witnessed the racist assault on her mother’s funeral and this inhuman attitude, which left irreparable damage to her memory. Going into her treatment and medical examination for months, the Forensic Medicine Institution of Kocaeli Faculty of Medicine unanimously drafted a report stating that she was not fit to remain in prison; despite this report, a new report released by the Forensic Medicine Institute of Istanbul indicated exactly the opposite.

“This institution, which has long imposed itself with its reports in violation of ethics, conscience, science and law, has issued another of its reports against the science of medicine and consistently concluding that prisoners politicians “may remain in prison” despite their serious and terminal illnesses. In this report given for TuÄŸluk, the illness of dementia was denied.

“The appeal of his lawyers before the“ Supreme Council ”against the contradictory reports went unanswered; the worsening of his illness is monitored.

“We oppose what Aysel TuÄŸluk, as a politician who fought all types of violence against women for years and fought for women’s freedom, is forced to go through today; we ask for his release. In light of our demand for “Justice for Women”, we also reiterate our demand for freedom for TuÄŸluk and all women imprisoned for political reasons like her.

“The state, mainly the Ministry of Justice, is responsible for failing to comply with the requirements of the full committee report stating that Aysel TuÄŸluk cannot stay in prison. Administrative and judicial authorities who ignore the report “she cannot stay in prison” will be responsible for any adverse consequences regarding TuÄŸluk’s health. “

“We call on all authorities who have a role in this illegal process imposed on them to act in accordance with the law, science and conscience; let us recall that TuÄŸluk must be released as soon as possible so that her treatment can continue under the necessary conditions and reiterate our call for SOLIDARITY “.

The 68 undersigned organizations

Adalar Foundation Women’s Working Group, Adana Women’s Platform, AÄž-DA Gender Equality Solidarity Network, Alevi Women’s Union, Anatolian Women’s Movement, Women of the Academy of Ankara Solidarity (ADA), Ankara Women’s Platform, Antalya Women’s Counseling Center and Solidarity Association, Aramızda (Entre Nous) Gender Studies Association, European Union of Alevi Women, Ben Association Seçerim (I choose), Association for the fight against sexual violence, Datça Women’s Platform, DAD Women’s Assembly, State Association of Solidarity Women (DAKAHDER), Demir Leblebi Women’s Association, Alevi Democratic Associations Women’s Assembly, Democratic Union Alevi Women, Dikili Women’s Platform, Diyarbakır Bar Association Women’s Rights Center, Ekmek ve Gül Magazine, Labor Party Women, EskiÅŸehir School Research and Solidarity Association Gender Working Group, Monitoring for Equality Women’s Group-EŞİTÄ°Z, Home- Union of Based Employees, Foça Peace Women, Günebakan Women’s Association, Halkevci Women, Hatay Women Are Strong Together, People’s Democratic Congress (HDK) Assembly MuÄŸla Women’s Council, HDP Adana Women’s Council, HDP Balıkesir Women’s Council, HDP Hatay Women’s Council, Hubyar Women’s Council, Ä°skenderun Women’s Platform, Izmir Women’s Solidarity Association, Women’s Solidarity, Party of Women, Women’s Human Rights – Association of New Solutions, Association of Women Writers, Kadınlar Birlikte Güçlü (Women are Strong Together), Kağıthane HDP Women’s Organization, Karaburun Women’s Platform, Association for Counseling and Solidarity of women of Katre, Women’s Assembly of Public Employees’ Unions (KESK), Women’s Assembly of Kırkyama Solidarity, Association Kırmızı Biber (red pepper), Solidarity of independent women of Körfez, Mavigöl Women’s Association, Mersin Alevi Women’s Platform, Mimoza – Mersin Women’s Association, Violet Solidarity, Mor Sarmaşık, MuÄŸla Emek Benim (The work is mine) Women’s Association Solidarity, MuÄŸla Women’s and Consultation Association, Lawyers’ Association for Freedom Women’s Commission, L Iberian Democrat Lawyers (ÖDAV), Rosa Women’s Association, SES Women’s Platform for Equality and Justice, Socialist Women’s Assemblies, Women with TÄ°P, Free Women’s Movement TJA (Tevgera Jinên Azad), Turkish Medical Association (TTB) Directorate of Women’s Medicine and Women’s Health, Van Women’s Platform, Van Star Women’s Association, Wernicke Korsakofflular and Former Prisoners / Çukurova, Yan Yana (Side by Side) Initiative Women, YaÅŸamevi (Life House) Association for the solidarity of women.

What happened?

On December 29, 2016, while she was vice-co-chair of the People’s Democratic Party (HDP), Kurdish politician Aysel TuÄŸluk was arrested along with seven other politicians from the Party of Democratic Regions (DBP) and the Congress of Democratic Society ( DTK).

The indictment filed against TuÄŸluk, who was DTK’s co-chair until September 2014, brought her statements to the press as well as the funeral she attended as criminal evidence against the politician.

On March 16, 2018, the 17th Ankara Criminal Court sentenced Aysel TuÄŸluk to 8 years in prison in accordance with Anti-Terrorism Law (TMK) no. 3713. Halving this prison sentence, the court then sentenced the politician to 12 years in prison. Finally, she reduced that prison sentence by one sixth and decided that she would be sentenced to 10 years in prison.

As Aysel TuÄŸluk’s appeal to the Ankara Regional Court of Justice was dismissed, his case was referred to the Court of Cassation.

The funeral of his mother

Aysel TuÄŸluk’s mother, Hatun TuÄŸluk, lost her life in 2017. On her last wish, her deceased body was brought to Ä°ncek cemetery in Ankara. Aysel TuÄŸluk left prison with permission and his mother was buried; Soon after, a group of 5-6 people gathered to protest the funeral.

Those who attended the funeral said that number was gradually increasing and they were attempting to attack the grave.

As the attacks continued, Hatun TuÄŸluk’s deceased body had to be removed from the ground and buried elsewhere. One of the people who attacked the funeral turned out to have a photo with Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu at the police station.

Health problems

Aysel TuÄŸluk’s older brother Alaattin TuÄŸluk said his sister lost her memory after the death of their mother:

My sister didn’t look well. She asks the same question 3 to 4 times. She doesn’t remember some things. For example, when she wants to ask about someone in the family, she says, “Who was that, who? They are close people, it is impossible for him not to know them. I’m afraid this will come to an irreversible point and we will lose my sister … I want treatment before it’s too late. Let another committee look at it and make a decision on it. She is now receiving 1 to 2 medications. It is not enough. She will go [to jail] after the end of his treatment.

About Aysel TuÄŸluk


She was a founding member and co-chair of the Democratic Society Party (DTP) and elected Member of Parliament for Diyarbakır in 2007-2009. She became MP for Van of the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) in 2011-2015. She was HDP vice-co-chair responsible for law and human rights.

Aysel TuÄŸluk was also a board member of the Society and Law Studies Foundation, a member of the Human Rights Association (Ä°HD) and founder of the Association of Patriotic Women.

Born in Elazığ in 1965, she graduated from Istanbul University Law Faculty and worked as a freelance lawyer. (TP / SD)

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