Turkey court accepts indictment against HPD deputies

Opposition party's co-leader Yuksekdag and 2 other deputies could face jail to up to 5 years if convicted of terror crimes

Turkey court accepts indictment against HPD deputies

World Bulletin / News Desk

A court in Turkey’s western province of Izmir has accepted an indictment against the opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party's (HDP) co-chairwoman and two other lawmakers of the party on terror charges, a judiciary source said Monday.

The Public Prosecutor’s Office in Izmir had charged HDP Co-Chairwoman Figen Yuksekdag and lawmaker Erdal Atas with "making propaganda for a terrorist organization."

Another HDP lawmaker, Mizgin Irgat, was charged with "promoting crimes and criminals," the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media, said.

The prosecutor's office had brought the charges in court after probing the speeches of the HDP lawmakers during a panel discussion in Izmir in February.

The speeches had referred to the PKK terror organization's actions as "people's struggle" and were made part of the indictment on "terrorism and propaganda for a terrorist organization."

The source said the prosecutor had sought imprisonment terms of up to five years for the HDP members.

The court was asked to specifically sentence Irgat to two years of aggravated imprisonment. In his speech, Irgat is accused of characterizing the imprisoned PKK founder and leader, Abdullah Ocalan, as a "political entity, a captive." He had also described the PKK's terror actions as a "fight for freedom."

Earlier this month, 13 HDP lawmakers were arrested. Ten, including co-leaders Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag, remain in custody awaiting trial on terrorism-related charges.

The PKK -- listed as a terror organization by Turkey, the U.S., and EU -- resumed its decades-old armed campaign in July last year.

Since then, more than 300 civilians and nearly 800 security personnel have been martyred. Around 8,000 PKK terrorists have been killed or apprehended.

Last Mod: 28 Kasım 2016, 15:24
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