Ex-HDP deputy Tuncel given one year in prison for slapping police officer

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Democratic Regions Party (DBP) Co-chairperson and former pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democracy Party (HDP) parliamentarian, Sebahat Tuncel

A Silopi criminal court of first instance has sentenced former HDP deputy Sebahat Tuncel to one year in prison for slapping a police officer in the face during Nevruz celebrations in 2011.

The court also ordered Tuncel to pay TL 8,500 on charges of “assaulting and obstructing a public official.”

The incident took place during celebrations of the spring festival of Nevruz in the Silopi district of the southeastern province of Şırnak. Footage from the celebrations — which turned into demonstrations — showed Tuncel slapping chief inspector Murat Çetiner’s face and shouting insults at him.

Çetiner managed to maintain a respectful demeanor and keep his calm, but then filed a complaint against the deputy. Tuncel drew harsh criticism from politicians following the incident.

A Şırnak court has handed down a fine of TL 25,000 to then-Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) İstanbul deputy Sebahat Tuncel for slapping the police officer, but no criminal action was brought against her due to her parliamentary immunity.

Çetiner filed a criminal case against Tuncel after her the HDP administration failed to name her as a deputy candidate in the June 7 general election.

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