Leader of Turkey's HDP facing 5-year jail term

Selahattin Demirtas accused of promoting extremist propaganda in 2013 rally speech

Leader of Turkey's HDP facing 5-year jail term

World Bulletin / News Desk

A prosecutor in Istanbul has prepared an indictment seeking a jail term of up to five years for the co-leader of Turkey’s Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP). 

Selahattin Demirtas and Sirri Sureyya Onder, an HDP lawmaker, are accused of promoting the “propaganda of an extremist organization”, namely the PKK, in the document drawn up by the Bakirkoy Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office and seen by Anadolu Agency on Friday.

Immunity from prosecution was lifted for around a quarter of parliamentary deputies in May.

Demirtas and Onder, who represents Ankara, are accused of supporting the PKK and its imprisoned leader Abdullah Ocalan in comments made at a rally in Zeytinburnu, Istanbul, in March 2013. At the time the government was involved in trying to resolve the Kurdish conflict through a “solution process” with the PKK leadership.

Acting prosecutor Kadir Yilmaz demanded a prison term of between one and five years in the indictment, which is currently pending at Bakirkoy 2nd High Criminal Court.

“The suspects are deputies of a political party represented at Grand National Assembly of Turkey... The state has right to expect... political figures to keep away from expressions that praise and legitimate extremist activities,” the indictment said.

The PKK -- listed as a extremist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU -- resumed its 30-year armed campaign against the Turkish state in July 2015, since when more than 600 security personnel have been martyred and more than 7,000 PKK extremists killed.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 12 Ağustos 2016, 14:56