IZMIR, Turkey (Anadolu Agency)—A court in the western province of İzmir has accepted an indictment against the Kurdish issue-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party’s (HDP) co-chair and two other party lawmakers on terror charges, seeking up to five years in jail, a judiciary source said on November 28.
The İzmir Public Prosecutor’s Office had charged HDP co-chair Figen Yüksekdağ, who is in jail on terror charges, and HDP deputy Erdal Ataş with “making propaganda for a terrorist organization.”
Another HDP lawmaker, Mizgin Irgat, was charged with “promoting crimes and criminals,” said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media.
The prosecutor’s office brought the charges to court after investigating speeches given by the HDP lawmakers during a panel discussion in İzmir in February.
The speeches referred to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party’s (PKK) actions as a “people’s struggle” and were thus included in the indictment as charges for “terrorism and propaganda for a terrorist organization.”
The source said the prosecutor had sought imprisonment terms of up to five years for the HDP members, specifically demanding two years of aggravated imprisonment for Irgat.
Irgat is accused of describing jailed PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan as a “political entity, a captive” in his speech, as well as describing the PKK’s actions as a “fight for freedom.”
Earlier this month, 13 HDP lawmakers were arrested. Ten, including co-leaders Selahattin Demirtaş and Yüksekdağ, remain arrested awaiting trial on terrorism-related charges.