ANKARA (Today’s Zaman)–A former co-chair of the Democratic Society Party (DTP) party, which was shut down by a high court on Friday over alleged links with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), will be brought by force to a court hearing for a trial in which she is charged with membership in the PKK, an Istanbul court ruled yesterday.
The Istanbul 13th High Criminal Court yesterday ruled to bring Aysel Tugluk — who was deprived of her parliamentary membership along with DTP head Ahmet Turk in a Constitutional Court decision on Friday that also shut down the DTP — to a hearing scheduled for March 30, 2010 by force considering “the stage the case against her has reached.”
Tugluk lost her parliamentary immunity with the loss of her status as a deputy.
A total of five suspects, including Tugluk, are facing charges of membership in the outlawed PKK in a trial being heard by the Istanbul 13th Higher Criminal Court. The suspects face jail sentences of between five and 15 years.
The Constitutional Court ordered the closure of the DTP after finding it guilty of cooperating with the PKK. The court ruling drew criticism from the European Union, dealing a new blow to Turkey’s faltering hopes of EU membership. The PKK has been waging a campaign for equal rights and self-rule for the country’s beleaguered Kurdish minority since 1984.