Brother visits PKK leader in İmralı prison

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Mehmet Öcalan

The brother of Abdullah Öcalan, the jailed leader of the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), paid a visit to İmralı Island Prison in the Marmara Sea on Sept. 11, amid concerns of pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) officials about the health of the PKK leader.

The visit came one day after Öcalan, who is serving an aggravated life term, was granted a family visit during the Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday.

Brother Mehmet Öcalan and lawyer Mazlum Dinç set out for the island in the morning from Gemlik in Bursa province and returned in the afternoon.

Family members have not been allowed to meet with Abdullah Öcalan since Oct. 6, 2014.

HDP deputies have been expressing concern about Öcalan’s health since a failed military coup on July 15. Some HDP deputies have even begun a hunger strike demanding that Öcalan be permitted visits from his lawyers.

Öcalan has been incarcerated in a high security prison on İmralı Island in the Sea of Marmara for 15 years.

Since the July 15 coup attempt, the HDP has been calling for an independent commission to look into Öcalan’s condition over fears that July 15 coup plotters would have sought to target him.

The party says that an “attack” on Öcalan by the “putschists” could “drag Turkey into an irreversible civil war.”

The PKK has been waging a four-decade-long war against the Turkish state to carve out an autonomous zone in Turkey’s Kurdish Southeast. The group is listed as a terrorist organization by the US, the EU and Turkey.

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