Kurdish politician released 18 months after being diagnosed with "severe dementia"
Imprisoned Kurdish politician and former deputy Aysel Tugluk was released on Thursday evening after the Turkish Forensic Medicine Institute (ATK) admitted that she can not survive on her own behind bars because of her condition of severe dementia.
Turkey's Kocaeli University had diagnosed her with "chronic and progressive dementia" in March 2021, and concluded that she was not fit to stay in prison, but the ATK has denied her release for over 18 months until today, saying she had "mild cognitive impairment" and had "full criminal liability."
After her release, Tugluk was greeted at the prison gate by a group of people with applause, zilgit (Kurdish exclamations of emotions) and flowers. Women deputies for the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) Zuleyha Gulum and Serpil Kemalbay, HDP officials, members of the Association of Lawyers for Freedom (OHD) took part in the lively greeting alongside Tugluk's family, friends and others.
Lawyers told +Gercek that the ATK's recent report itself would not be sufficient for Tugluk's release, and that the office of the judge issued the release order late in the evening only after the intervention and efforts by HDP deputies.