Former HDP MP Önder turns himself in to authorities after court ruling
Former lawmaker of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Sırrı Süreyya Önder on Dec. 6 handed himself in to authorities in the northwestern province of Kocaeli after a court on Dec. 4 upheld his prison sentence on “terror” charges.
“Whatever I’ve done, I’m standing behind it. Peace and democracy will win,” Önder told reporters before entering prison.
Önder, HDP’s former lawmaker for Ankara, was sentenced to three years and six months in jail for “spreading terrorist propaganda” in a court decision together with former HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş in September. His jail term was upheld by the Istanbul Regional Court’s 2nd penal chamber on Dec. 4.
Önder will serve his sentence at the Kandıra High Security Prison.
Around a dozen HDP lawmakers are currently in prison pending trial for terrorism-related offenses after their parliamentary immunity was lifted in May 2016.
The Turkish government has repeatedly accused the HDP, the third largest party in parliament, of having links to the PKK, which is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the EU and the U.S.