Lawyers visit jailed PKK leader Öcalan for first time in 8 years

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Jailed PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan.

Lawyers representing jailed leader of the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) Abdullah Öcalan visited him on May 2 for the first time since 2011, a law bureau representing him said in a statement on Monday.

The lawyers’ visit to the İmralı Island Prison in the Marmara Sea comes at a time when hundreds of Kurdish prisoners are on a hunger strike to break what they say is the “isolation” imposed on the PKK leader.

The İstanbul-based Asrın law firm did not provide further details regarding the visit, nor did it explain why they informed the public almost four days later, as the hunger strike continues.

 “A statement regarding this meeting [with Öcalan] is to be made at the Taksim Hill Hotel at 15.00. All media is invited. Please note, no questions will be taken after the statement,” Asrın said.

It will be seen if Öcalan called for an end to the hunger strike, led by Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputy Leyla Güven.

Öcalan was last visited in January of this year by his younger brother, Mehmet, a farmer from Şanlıurfa province. It was the first visit by a family member since September 2016.

The PKK, which has been waging a bloody war in Turkey’s Southeast since 1984, is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the EU and the US. Öcalan has been imprisoned since 1999.

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