HDP’s Gergerlioğlu released after detention
Turkish police early on March 21 detained Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), who was staging a protest in parliament, before he was released the same day after giving a statement to the police.
According to the Constitution, it is unacceptable to try to use parliament as a field of demonstration after his seat in parliament was revoked because he is no longer a lawmaker, Parliament Speaker Mustafa Şentop said on March 21.
Gergerlioğlu refused to leave parliament after he was stripped of his status and immunity as a lawmaker on March 17.
The HDP said he was in his pyjamas and slippers when police seized him as he was performing his ablutions for the morning prayers.
Gergerlioğlu was convicted in 2018 and sentenced to two years and six months in prison for “spreading terrorist propaganda” after he retweeted a 2016 news article about a call for peace by the illegal PKK group.
An appeals court confirmed the conviction, saying he was “owning” and “legitimizing” the PKK by sharing the link, which included a photograph of members of the group.
The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization in Turkey, Europe, and the United States.
On March 20, Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli had called on the assembly’s speaker to remove Gergerlioğlu from the building, describing him as a separatist.
“The Grand Turkish National Assembly is not the dorms of separatists or the place where fugitives can take refuge. The dagger in the great Turkish nation’s heart cannot be allowed to nest or tolerated ... Laying out a bed in parliament is a dark stain on democracy,’’ he wrote in one tweet.
Supreme Court prosecutors have also filed an indictment to the Constitutional Court for the HDP’s closure this week and are seeking a five-year ban on 687 members’ participation in politics.