Turkey to grant family visit to jailed PKK leader

Turkey to grant family visit to jailed PKK leader

Turkey to grant family visit to jailed PKK leader

People wearing T-shirts featuring jailed PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan sit on the floor before starting a hunger strike. REUTERS photo

Abdullah Öcalan, the jailed leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) is to be allowed a family visit during the Muslim feast of Eid al-Adha, a security official told state-run Anadolu Agency on Sept. 10.      

Öcalan will be visited by his brother Mehmet, the official said on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

The time and date of the meeting were not revealed, Anadolu Agency said, while the four-day Eid al Adha starts on Sept. 12.      

Öcalan was jailed in 1999 for forming an armed organization after a death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment. He is being held on İmrali island in the Sea of Marmara.      

A group of 50 people started a hunger strike in Diyarbakır on Sept. 5 demanding a visit to Öcalan, who has been held incommunicado for around a year-and-a-half, by his lawyers, family members or a political delegation.

Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ said there were no problems concerning Öcalan’s health and that security had been increased at İmralı Prison.

“They spread the wrong information regarding Öcalan’s health and safety in order to mobilize people to use it for their own purposes,” Bozdağ said.