Ex-mayor Leyla İmret sought for terror links in Turkey speaks at Council of Europe
A former mayor of Turkey’s Cizre district in the southeastern province of Şırnak, who is being sought with an arrest warrant on terror-linked charges, spoke at a session of the Council of Europe on March 28.
Leyla İmret, who has a warrant out for her arrest for making “terrorist propaganda,” delivered her speech in the French city of Strasbourg, during a debate entitled “Mayors under pressure” at the Congress Session.
The speech could add to the tensions between the European nations and Turkey as a final row.
While İmret was supported by European mayors, such as Jean-Louis Testud, the mayor of the French town of Surenes, her speech was not welcomed by the Turkish representatives there.
İzmit Mayor Nevzat Doğan, speaking to state-run Anadolu Agency, said İmret delivering a speech is “neglecting the superiority of law and values of the Council of Europe.”
“Her speaking here is a clear violation of Council of Europe standards,” Doğan added.
The former mayor had said she fled Turkey despite a ban on leaving by going to the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and to Germany from there.
İmret, part of a group carrying out a hunger strike to protest Turkey’s cross-border operation in Syria’s Afrin district, faces charges of supporting the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) by the Turkish government.
She was elected as mayor of Cizre in 2014 after winning 83 percent of the votes.
In 2016, Cizre was appointed a trustee by Ankara through a state of emergency decree.
In the same year, İmret was briefly detained by law enforcement officials but then was released with a ban on leaving the country after giving testimony.
*CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story said the speech took place at the European Council based on an Anadolu Agency report. The Daily News regrets the error.