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Turkey ends ban on lawyer visits to Kurd rebel chief Ocalan

AFP  |  Ankara 

has lifted a ban on visits to imprisoned Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan, the said on Thursday.

"The ruling that prevents meetings has been lifted and the opportunity to meet with him has been allowed," told reporters in

Ocalan, imprisoned on near Istanbul, met his lawyers for the first time in eight years on May 2.

Gul said those convicted had the right to see their lawyers but this could be limited when there were concerns over security risks.

After the meeting earlier this month, his lawyers read out a message from Ocalan in which he said "Turkey's sensitivities" should be taken into account in where a US-backed has spearheaded the fight against the Islamic State extremist group.

Ocalan remains a key figure for Kurdish separatists in and also

says the YPG is a "terrorist offshoot" of the outlawed (PKK) co-founded by Ocalan and which has waged an insurgency against Turkey since 1984.

The PKK is proscribed as a terrorist organisation by and its Western allies.

Ocalan was caught in February 1999 in and jailed a few months later after he was found guilty of treason, separatism and murder.

Ocalan's brother was allowed to visit him in January for the first time since 2016.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, May 16 2019. 20:26 IST