Former HPD MP seeking political asylum in Greece

Former HPD MP seeking political asylum in Greece

THESSALONIKI – The Associated Press
Former HPD MP seeking political asylum in Greece

Greek authorities say a former lawmaker for the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) is requesting asylum in Greece after illegally crossing the border.

A police official said Turkish national Leyla Birlik, 44, surrendered to Greek police on Aug. 23 near the northeastern town of Alexandroupolis, and was in the process of requesting asylum in Greece.

He spoke on condition of anonymity on Aug. 24 because he was not authorized to discuss the case.

Meanwhile, Greek daily Ekathimerini reported on Aug. 24 that a prosecutor had ordered Birlik’s release until her asylum request has been examined.

Birlik, a former HPD lawmaker was sentenced in January to 21 months in prison for insulting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Birlik had also been arrested in 2016 along with HDP co-leaders on separate terror-related charges. She was released pending appeal but was banned from leaving the country.

HDP, Peoples' Democratic Party, Leyla Birlik, Greece, asylum seekers