Kurdistan Turkey prosecutors demand aggravated life sentences for Kurdish lawmakers

Turkey prosecutors demand aggravated life sentences for Kurdish lawmakers
The pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) lawmaker Adem Geveri poses for a photograph with members of his constituency in the city of Van in the run-up to the June 2015 Turkish General elections, June 6, 2015. (Photo: Adem Geveri Twitter)

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – Turkish prosecutors on Wednesday demanded aggravated life sentences for pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) lawmakers Adem Geveri and Tugba Hezer Ozturk, accusing them of separatism and terrorism.

The charges directed against Geveri and Ozturk, who represent the Kurdish province of Van at the Turkish Parliament, ranged from “disruption of unity and territorial integrity of the state, disseminating propaganda for a terrorist organization” to “membership in a terror group.”

In a phone call with Kurdistan24, Geveri, whom the Turkish Public Prosecutor in Van additionally demands 35 years in prison, denounced the accusations against him as “purely political.”

Turkish authorities already imprisoned one of Van’s HDP lawmakers, the party’s Co-chair Figen Yuksekdag a fortnight ago alongside the other Co-chair Selahattin Demirtas and eight other MPs from various provinces.

“All the charges against me are made up. It is a continuation of the political lynch on HDP and our lawmakers,” said Geveri, speaking from the Turkish capital of Ankara.

“We, the elected Kurdish officials are targeted because of our political activities,” he added.

“The fact that [the Government] is arresting my fellow MPs, our mayors, and local administrators of Kurdish parties means they want to eliminate the civil and democratic Kurdish politics,” explained Geveri.

There are currently 43 mayors of Kurdish cities and towns in detention or prison in Turkey.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his government view the HDP as the political wing of the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Geveri expected to get arrested in the coming days as he was supposed to appear before a court in Van on Dec. 1.

However, he said it was something he would not do because of what he deemed as part of a plan by the government to crush the Kurdish opposition.

“Unfortunately civil politics is being erased. Erdogan has taken a dangerous path far away from the law, toward authoritarianism,” said Geveri.

He also believed a crackdown similar to that on Kurdish HDP could soon begin on Turkish opposition politicians as well.


Editing by Karzan Sulaivany