NORTH KURDISTAN (TURKEY) – Permission to visit Ocalan nothing to do with Istanbul re-election: Turkish Justice Minister

By Rudaw 25 May 2019 –  ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Turkish Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul denied on Thursday claims that his government has granted long-imprisoned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Ocalan’s lawyers permission to visit him in relation to re-do local election in Istanbul on June 23 or a potential new PKK-Turkey peace process.

Asked whether Ocalan’s meetings with lawyers had any underlying motive, the minister said “This has nothing to do with the peace process … [or] the Istanbul election,” reported state-run Anadolu Agency on Friday.  The minister was answering journalists after an iftar meal in Ankara on Thursday evening.
He explained that it was purely a “judicial” matter, as the lawyers’ visits to Imrali Prison in the Marmara Sea had repeatedly been prevented in the past by some courts.

“In this framework, it was simply a visit. There is no need to link it to the Istanbul [re-]election. It was a meeting granted by court,” he said referring to Ocalan’s first meeting in eight years on May 2.

Asked about the future of the visits to Ocalan, the justice minister said it depended on the ability to access the island prison and “measures required by legislation.”
He had previously said that the Kurdish leader can be visited regularly.  Read more via