Elderly Kurdish couple arrested in Turkey on terror charges


Turkish authorities in Van province arrested a Kurdish couple, both aged around 80, for allegedly helping Kurdish rebels. A request for the home arrest of the woman, due to her disability was rejected, as reported by a local Kurdish media outlet.

Makbule Ozer, 80, and her 79-year-old husband, Hadi Ozer, were detained in the summer of 2018 in Van province’s Edremit district for allegedly "aiding a terrorist organization,” in reference to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). The couple were sentenced to two years and one month. They were arrested by police on Tuesday, Kurdish Mezopotamya news agency reported.

"May Allah not accept this injustice done to my dear father and mother," their son, Ubeydullah Ozer, said in a tweet on Tuesday. 

Dilan Kunt Ayan, the lawyer of the couple, told the agency that she had submitted an application to the Van court to change the elderly woman’s sentence to house arrest, but it was rejected.

She added that Makbule suffers from a disability.

"My client, who is an 80-year-old woman with a 52 percent disability, cannot even meet her personal needs alone, and her daily needs are met by her children. Implementing the prison sentence will not serve any purpose expected from the execution of sentences according to the law. This would put my client in a position [in which she would be] unable to meet even her daily personal needs,” she said. 

The court rejected the demand because "the legal conditions were not met.”

The PKK is an armed group fighting for the increased rights of Kurds in Turkey.



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