Turkey’s Council of Forensic Medicine (ATK) has for a third time decided that jailed Kurdish politician Aysel Tuğluk, who has been diagnosed with dementia, is fit to remain in prison, Arti Gercek news site reported on Thursday, citing Tuğluk’s lawyers.
Tuğluk, who was arrested in 2016, is serving a 10-year prison sentence on terror charges at a maximum-security prison in Turkey’s northwestern Kocaeli province.
The founding member of the Democratic Society Party (DTP) and former co-chair of the opposition pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), has been experiencing deteriorating health for years and was diagnosed with early onset dementia in 2021.
The two previous attempts by her lawyers to facilitate her release on health grounds were denied after the ATK deemed her fit to remain in prison.
The latest evaluation of Tuğluk’s health is ”filled with contradictions and contains superficial views,” her lawyers said, noting the evaluation was removed from objectivity.”
Earlier this year, a Turkish court ordered the politician to be placed under observation by the ATK for a three-week period, but the authority sent Tuğluk back prison after a few days.
Tuğluk was elected to parliament in 2007 from the Kurdish-majority southeastern Diyarbakır province, running independently as part of a campaign to circumvent Turkey’s high election threshold of 10 percent.
The politician was elected again in 2011, this time from the HDP, of which she was the first co-chair.
Tuğluk is serving a prison sentence on terrorism charges linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), an armed group that has been at war for Kurdish self-rule in Turkey for over 40 years. She has denied all charges against her.