Court approves indictment into 2014 Kobane incidents
A Turkish penal court on Jan. 7 approved indictments for 108 defendants on Jan. 7, including former co-chair of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), Selahattin Demirtaş, as part of a probe into the deadly 2014 Kobane incidents across the nation.
The indictment filed by the chief prosecutor’s office in Ankara is calling for 38 counts of life sentences without parole against 108 defendants. Former HDP co-leaders Figen Yüksekdağ and Demirtaş are currently imprisoned on terror-related charges and are among suspects on trial.
The charges included 37 cases of “homicide” and “disrupting the unity and territorial integrity of the state.” Of the defendants, 27 are jailed pending trial, 75 have arrest warrants against them and six were detained then released with judicial measures.
“It was understood that the defendants made statements with the same content as the statements of the PKK/KCK terror organization, clearly following the instructions of the organization, both in the terror incidents of Oct. 6-8 and in the ‘Ditch’ incidents, and acted under the guidance of the organization in line with the instructions and strategy of the organization in the similar terrorist acts,” the indictment said.
The indictment also underlined that the aim was to start a civil war by creating an environment of chaos after terror, intimidation, bombing and armed attacks, which are among the intention of terrorism across the country.
In early October, a Turkish court ordered the pre-trial detention of 17 people, including senior HDP members, in connection with the events of 2014 which sparked by the seizure of the Syrian town of Kobane by ISIL militants and turned violent across Turkey after the YPG group in the town accused the Turkish government of being inactive against the ISIL attacks.
Demirtaş, who is charged with terrorism-related offenses, faces a sentence of up to 142 years in prison if convicted of being the leader of a terrorist organization over his actions during protests in 2014.
The Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) said on late Dec. 22 that the rights of Demirtaş had been violated under five different categories, including freedom of expression and liberty. It also stressed that Demirtaş’s pretrial detention since November 2016 had sent a dangerous message to the entire population.