Former Kurdish deputy with dementia set to be released after months of agony
Former Kurdish deputy Aysel Tugluk who suffers severe dementia is set to be released from jail on Wednesday as Turkish Forensic Medicine Institute (ATK) accepted a diagnosis by a reputable university that she can not survive on her own behind bars after neearly two years of holdout.
The Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) Press Office said in a statement that the Ministry of Justice confirmed the report and family and lawyers were on their way to Kandıra Prison where Tugluk was held, as Prosecutor's Office is expected to decide for an immediate release.
Tugluk has been imprisoned since December 2016 over terrorism charges, and she has been struggling with dementia for a long time.
Kocaeli University diagnosed her with "chronic and progressive dementia" in March 2021 and concluded that she was not fit to stay in prison, but ATK refused until today to give the necessary approval by saying she has "mild cognitive impairment" and has "full criminal liability." despite calls from lawyers and Kurdish deputies.
Tugluk was forced by a Turkish court to testify through an audio-visual system on 1 August. Although she said that she would not be able to talk, the judge continued to ask her questions.
She also had to face a public act of hatred and extreme hostility in September 2017 after her mother died, when a mob protested at her burial in the capital city Ankara, yelling that an Alevi should not be buried in a Sunni cemetery. Officials gave in to the mob and the remains were exhumed to be sent to Dersim, the home town of the Tugluk family, for reburial.
Tugluk is a former deputy for the HDP, and she has been imprisoned since December 2016 over "terror" charges.