The Indonesian Journal of International & Comparative Law Volume II Issue 1 (2015) at 223–238
In recent weeks, the Kurdish people have received attention for their often
heroic ght against the terrorist forces of the self-proclaimed “Islamic
State” which has committed numerous massacres in Syria and Iraq. In
Northern Iraq, Iraqi-Kurdistan has enjoyed a large degree of autonomy
since the end of Operation Desert Storm and has been a relative success
story, in particular when compared to the overall situation in Iraq after
Operation Iraqi Freedom. However, from a Turkish perspective, the
Kurds’ struggle for self-determination continues to be associated with the
terror campaign which has been waged for many years by the Kurdish
Workers’ Party (PKK), a terrorist organization, against the Turkish
Republic. e longtime leader of the PKK, Abdullah Öcalan, remains a
symbolic gure for many Kurds and ags bearing his picture could be seen
at events across Europe when Kurds protested against the terror inicted
on Kurdish civilians by the Islamic State. At the time of writing,1 the U.S.
Air Force supports the ght of the Kurdish Peshmerga forces against the
Islamic State, European nations y supplies into Iraqi-Kurdistan and plan
to supply weapons to the Peshmerga.
Earlier this year, though, the legal situation of Mr. Öcalan has
led to a decision by the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR)
which impacts the work of lawyers across Europe. Mr. Öcalan has been
imprisoned on the Turkish prison island of İmralı2 since 1999, serving
a life behind bars3 for his role in the long terror war waged by PKK.
His fate has kept the ECtHR busy for some time4 and on 18 March
2014, the Court ruled in Öcalan v. Turkey (No. 2)5 on the compatibility
of monitoring of Mr. Öcalan’s communication with his attorney with
1. is text is up to date as of 20 August 2014.
2. Anon., EGMR zur Einschränkung der Anwalts-Mandantenkommunikation (ECtHR
on Limitations of Attorney-Client Communication), in 2 K A 7
(Rechtsanwaltskammer Frankfurt am Main ed., 2014) (in Germany).
4. For the earlier case see Öcalan v. Turkey, App. No. 46221/99, Judgment of
12 May 2005, available at http://hudoc.echr.coe.int/sites/eng/pages/search.
5. Öcalan v. Turkey (No. 2), App. No. 24069/03, 197/04, 6201/06 and 10464/07,
Judgment of 18 March 2014.