Turkish court accepts indictments against opposition party co-chairs
AFP photoA Diyarbakır court accepted indictments on Jan. 31 against opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-chairs Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ, charging them with multiple counts of terrorism.
A Diyarbakır Court of Serious Crimes will try Demirtaş on seven counts, two of which are related to terror, with a prosecutor demanding 142 years in jail for the co-chair.
Among the charges directed at Demirtaş are “managing a terrorist organization,” “making terrorist propaganda,” “opposing the law on gatherings and demonstration marches,” “inciting people to violence and hatred,” “inciting people to not obey the rules,” “inciting people to commit crimes” and “praising crime and criminals.”
The organization referred in the indictments is outlawed the Kurdistan Workers’ Party/Kurdistan Communities Union (PKK/KCK).
Yüksekdağ, on the other hand, faces four counts of “managing a terrorist organization,” “opposing the law on gatherings and demonstration marches,” “inciting people to violence and hatred” and “inciting people to commit crimes.” She faces up to 83 years in jail.
The indictment alleged that both Demirtaş and Yüksekdağ possessed high-ranking positons within the Democratic Society Congress (DTK), which has been alleged to be the legislative body of PKK/KCK.
In addition, both of the politicians are accused of provoking the demonstration of Oct. 6-8, 2014, as they participated in an HDP Central Executive Board (MYK) meeting released a statement calling on people take part in the street demonstrations.
The Oct. 6-8, 2014 incidents were the widespread protests that were carried out with the backing of the HDP against the Turkish government’s policies regarding clashes between the People’s Protection Units (YPG) and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in the northern Syrian city of Kobane. In the protests that mainly occurred in Anatolia’s eastern and southeastern provinces, over 40 people died, most at the hands of security forces.
Meanwhile, on Feb. 1 detention warrants were issued against two HDP Şanlıurfa deputies, Dilek Öcalan and İbrahim Ayhan, on separate terror probes. Öcalan is the niece of PKK’s jailed leader, Abdullah Öcalan.