Investigation launched into HDP co-chair Sezai Temelli on terror charges
A Turkish prosecutor’s office has launched an investigation against Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Sezai Temelli over remarks he made at a meeting in the eastern province of Tunceli, state-run Anadolu Agency reported on March 19.
The Tunceli Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office launched the investigation over Temelli’s remarks in a Jan. 31 speech he made at an HDP event to present mayoral candidates for the upcoming local elections in Tunceli, organized by the provincial organization of the party.
Temelli is facing charges of “making terrorist propaganda,” the agency said.
Since Temelli is a member of the Turkish Parliament, the Tunceli prosecutors ruled the decision of non-jurisdiction and referred the case to the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office for his immunity to be lifted.
The HDP co-chair is also facing another probe launched by prosecutors of the eastern province of Van on grounds that the content of his statements during another speech on Dec. 19, 2018 at a HDP meeting constituted “a crime.”
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.
Temelli replaced former jailed HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş in 2018. Demirtaş was jailed in 2016 on terror charges. Eight other former HDP MPs are currently behind bars on terror charges too.