ANKARA - İHD Co-Chair Öztürk Türkdoğan, pointing out that İmralı Prison's execution practices has become the common practice in Turkey's execution law, said, "As long as you keep Öcalan in strict conditions, you cannot solve the Kurdish problem."
Association of Lawyers for Freedom (ÖHD), Human Rights Association (İHD), Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (TİHV) and Society and Law Research Foundation (TOHAV) appealed to the European Court of Human Rights, on behalf of PKK Leader Abdullah Öcalan, who has been imprisoned for 22 years, and Hayati Kaytan, Emin Gurban and Civan Boltan regarding the decision on 29 July of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe citing there has not been a violation of human rights.
Legal and human rights organizations appealed to the EC Committee of Ministers to implement the decision of the ECtHR regarding the "aggravated life imprisonment" sentence given to Öcalan, Kaytan, Gurban and Boltan, stating that there has been a violation of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). . Party Opinion”.
We talked to İHD Co-Chair Öztürk Türkdoğan about the application made to the EC Committee of Ministers for the follow-up of the violation of rights decision given by the ECtHR. Reminding that the death penalty given to PKK Leader Öcalan during the trial process was abolished with the amendment made in the Constitution of the Republic of Turkey in 2004 with the injunction issued by the ECtHR, Türkdoğan said that after this period, with the legislative change in Turkey, "aggravated life imprisonment (life imprisonment)" was introduced. He stated that the criminal procedure had been put into effect.
Defining this method of punishment as "prolonged death penalty and as a torture method", Türkdoğan reminded the public that an application was made to the ECtHR against this form of punishment and that a decision was made in terms of violation of the "prohibition of torture and ill-treatment" under the third article of the ECHR. Emphasizing that this also removes the "right to hope", Türkdoğan said, "When a person is punished, he must know when to be released."
Explaining that the İHD, after the amendment to the Constitution in 2004, constantly emphasized this same issue and mentioned it in many reports they prepared, Türkdoğan said, “At a meeting with high judges that I personally attended, I stated that this problem should be resolved within the framework of the ECtHR decisions. Ministry bureaucrats, senior judges in Turkey, are well aware of this issue.”
Stating that the “Execution Law” enacted on April 15, 2020, and the decisions of the ECtHR concerning Turkey, took a turn in the opposite direction, Türkdoğan said that the ECtHR's decision regarding Öcalan, Kaytan, Boltan and Gurban is being monitored and that they applied for the case to be put on the agenda of EC Ministers Committee.
ROLE OF THE NGOS
Underlining that the main factor that holds the Council of Europe countries together is the ECHR and that the decisions of the court established pursuant to the convention should also be implemented, Türkdoğan said, “If the political body of the Council cannot fulfill its duties, this will show us that there is an erosion in human rights values and commitment to the contract. For this reason, the applications of NGOs are very important, because if we leave it to the discretion of the states; States will not take steps to eliminate such gross human rights violations, putting more emphasis on economic and political interests. Right at this point; The NGOs of the countries in the Council need to be engaged effectively,".
Stating that Turkey has been imposing its wrong policies on the Council of Europe countries and making concessions under the rhetoric of "fighting against terrorism", using the conflict environment in the Kurdish issue as an excuse for not implementing the ECtHR decisions, Türkdoğan continued: "It is a gangrenous problem that the problem deepens even more during the military coup periods, but parties such as AKP-MHP prioritize their own political interests and move away from solving basic human rights issues. If we take Syria, Iran and Iraq as a basis, it is the biggest problem in the world for us. Because the identity and cultural rights of a people of 40 million are not guaranteed in any way.”
DIALOGUE WITH OCALAN
Emphasizing that the United Nations (UN), European and other regional systems are content to follow Turkey's policies, Türkdoğan said, “Turkey, on the other hand, thinks that it will solve the Kurdish issue through conflict, destruction and imprisonment. It is precisely why Abdullah Öcalan has a key position on the issue. All in all, there have been 8 ceasefire periods in Turkey. In every ceasefire period, the political powers and the state in Turkey have always entered into a dialogue with Abdullah Öcalan. Since the dialogues did not yield any results, the conflicts continued and got worse.”
"As long as you keep Abdullah Öcalan in such strict conditions, you cannot solve the Kurdish problem," said Türkdoğan. "Under these conditions of execution, you need to enter into practices that will pave the way for this, and regulations that will ensure that the punishment is reviewed for each convict. Some convicts can train themselves to rejoin social life in prison and change their views. They may want to return to social life, or change their position believing that the society may need them. ”
‘AGGRAVATED EXECUTION PROBLEM SHOULD BE RESOLVED’
Emphasizing the importance of the "aggravated executions until death" issue, which Turkey initiated with Abdullah Öcalan, must now be resolved, Türkdoğan continued: “Because thousands of people are affected by it. When you consider coup cases, this number will increase even more. The pressure of the ECtHR and the EC on Turkey will also increase. Therefore, Turkey should now put this on its agenda. The EC Committee of Ministers will make demands on Turkey, but on the other hand, Turkey needs to create a basis for it to sit and talk about this problem, rather than external pressure. The Committee of Ministers will monitor the issue quarterly then they will wait for a while for Turkey to take action, if Turkey does not take action, increased sanctions will be introduced. This will ultimately lead to the suspension of Turkey's membership. That procedure was initiated regarding Osman Kavala. That procedure was initiated in Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan had to implement the decision of the ECHR in order to get rid of it. Turkey will also do this, but before it gets to that point, I think the issue needs to be discussed and resolved legally, politically, morally, culturally and politically.”
FOUNDATION OF THE EXECUTION LAW
Pointing out that the practices in Imrali F Type High Security Prison have become common practices of Turkey's execution law, Türkdoğan added: “If Turkey's democratic public and opposition parties had objected to the violations in İmralı back then, our execution laws would not have been so severe. . Last year's law no. 7242 is a complete disaster. It is an application in the nature of a 'special amnesty' just so that Alaattin Çakici can be removed with the imposition of the MHP. The situation of people covered by the TMK has been aggravated.
Turkey is such a country that it is not clear who will lead it when and what will happen. Those in power today may find themselves in prison tomorrow. Therefore, general principles of law are necessary for everyone. At the time of the members of the Fethullah Gülen community, the judiciary was in bureaucracy. We said that the law would be needed for them too. Now they need law the most. They just started understanding us. That's why we call out to those in power today; rules of law, legal procedures are for everyone. Do not violate this. If the ECHR has made a decision, implement it. Produce judicial decisions within Turkey, this is necessary for everyone.”
MA / Berivan Altan