Former HDP deputy co-chair Tuğluk sentenced to 10 years in jail over ‘terror organization membership’
An Ankara court on March 16 sentenced former Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputy co-chair Aysel Tuğluk to 10 years in jail in a case in which she stands trial for “being the leader of a terror organization.”
In her defense before the court, Tuğluk said the Democratic Society Congress (DTK) was not an extension of a terror organization.
“The DTK never called for violence. It serves as a legal platform which seeks a democratic solution to the Kurdish question,” Tuğluk added.
“I am neither a member of an organization nor the leader of an organization. Every work I have ever done is legal and legitimate according to our constitution and laws. I am only the member of the HDP and the DTK, nothing else” she said.
Tuğluk rejected the accusations that she was the leader of a terror organization and demanded that she be acquitted on those charges.
The 17th High Criminal Court first sentenced her to eight years in jail for being a member of a terror organization, but increased her sentence to 12 years. The court eventually reduced Tuğluk’s sentence to 10 years.
In her trial in October 2017, the prosecutor had demanded up to 22.5 years of jail sentence for Tuğluk.
The indictment prepared by the Chief Public Prosecutor of Diyarbakir against Tuğluk alleged that Tuğluk took directives from outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party’s (PKK) jailed leader Abdullah Öcalan and made statements to media outlets close to the PKK. The indictment also noted that Tuğluk attended the funerals of terrorists.
In January, a court in the western province of Kocaeli sentenced Tuğluk to one-and-a-half years in jail for “organizing and managing” illegally conducted protests in front of the Kocaeli Prison.