Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) İstanbul deputy Ali Şeker has said the arrest of Ahmet Türk, a former deputy and also co-mayor of the Mardin Municipality, was prearranged since his flight was already booked before he appeared before a judge.
Speaking with the T24 news portal on Sunday, Şeker said he and other CHP deputies recently visited Türk in İstanbul’s Silivri Prison.
According to the details of their meeting with Türk, Şeker said the judge who ruled for the arrest of Türk on Nov. 24 had checked his watch and told Türk without announcing his final decision that the time for his flight [to take him the İstanbul prison] was approaching.
“This is a political decision. Judges who ruled for the arrest of pro-Kurdish deputies knew very well they would be arrested if they handed down a decision against the ruling political authority,” Şeker said.
“The judge concludes [Türk’s] trial by saying his flight time is approaching. His arrest is prearranged. The prison he will be taken to is prearranged. Flight tickets purchased in advance also show how the [Turkish] judiciary is being trampled [by the government,]” he added.
Türk, who has played an active role in efforts seeking to find a solution to Turkey’s longstanding Kurdish problem, was detained on Nov. 1 following his removal from his post by the Interior Ministry, with the government appointing a trustee to replace him.
Turkey has stepped up its crackdown on Kurdish politicians in recent months. Trustees have been appointed to dozens of municipalities in the country’s predominantly Kurdish Southeast while Turkish courts earlier this month arrested 10 pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputies including the party’s co-chairs.
Turkey has also arrested dozens of local Kurdish politicians on terrorism charges.
The developments have attracted widespread criticism from the region and Western countries.