Jailed Turkish MP in same prison as prosecutors who charged him
A jailed lawmaker from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) is being kept in the same prison as the prosecutors who prepared the summary of proceedings against him, according to his lawyer.
Reyhan Yalçındağ Baydemir, the lawyer of HDP Bingöl deputy İdris Baluken, said the prosecutors in jail were arrested over suspected links to the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), widely believed to have been behind the July 15, 2016 coup attempt.
Baluken was arrested on Nov. 4, 2016 as part of an investigation launched by the Diyarbakır Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office and was released shortly after, before he was once again arrested upon a prosecutor’s objection.
His lawyer says that prosecutors Ramazan Alptekin, Ahmet Karaca, Uğur Özcan and Hakan Ceran were dismissed from their posts in state of emergency decrees and were then arrested and sent to Ankara’s Sincan Prison, where Baluken is also being held.
Turkey declared a state of emergency after last year’s attempted military takeover and has been extending it ever since. As part of emergency rule, the government has issued a raft of state of emergency decrees, leading to the suspension or dismissal of thousands over suspected links to the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen.
“İdris Baluken is in the same jail as the prosecutors who prepared his summary of proceedings. This is a scandal. Is this justice?” Baydemir told the Doğan News Agency.
She added that all of the prosecutors who charged HDP lawmakers have either been arrested or dismissed over Gülen links.
“It is known that a majority of the cases by judges and prosecutors who were dismissed or arrested over links to FETÖ turned out to be conspiracies. Counter actions were taken, but when it comes to Kurdish politicians all of those conspiracies are ignored. All kinds of forbidden evidence are accepted as legal evidence. The cases have collapsed,” Baydemir also said.
According to a report prepared by the Kurdish issue-focused HDP, the number of summaries of proceedings against HDP lawmakers increased to 510 from 182 in the space of 10 months.
The report that was prepared to mark the first year anniversary of the arrests of HDP deputies said there were a total of 182 summaries of proceedings into HDP lawmakers between 2007 and 2015. This increased sharply to 510 in the 10 months after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan urged the lifting of immunities on July 28, 2015.
Nine lawmakers, including HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş, are currently in jail, and a total of 27 deputies were detained and released after Nov. 4, 2016 over alleged links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
To mark the anniversary of the arrests, HDP lawmakers staged a protest in front of Parliament Speaker İsmail Kahraman’s office by carrying pictures of their arrested members on Nov. 2.
After walking inside the parliamentary compound with the pictures they released a press statement urging the release of jailed deputies.
A day later, HDP Hakkari deputy Selma Irmak was sentenced to 10 years in jail over “making terror propaganda and managing a terrorist organization.”