The Kurdish co-mayor of Mardin, Ahmet Türk, who was in jail for 43 days, said after his release on Friday that his imprisonment was unlawful and that he hoped that conventional wisdom would prevail in Turkey.
Upon his release on probation, Türk told reporters that many friends of his, including deputies, party leaders and more than 70 Kurdish mayors, are currently in prison.
A Mardin court on Friday ruled for the release of 74-year-old Türk from jail shortly after the issuance of a controversial forensic report suggesting that Türk was physically fit to stay in prison.
Türk, who was first removed from his post by the Interior Ministry, with the government appointing a trustee to replace him, was arrested on Nov. 24 on charges of membership in a terror organization.
Türk was hospitalized last month when his overall physical condition deteriorated in prison.
The report by the Council of Forensic Medicine said as long as Türk undergoes a medical checkup in every six months, his imprisonment does not pose a risk to his health.
Türk’s lawyer, Zeynep Ceren Boztoprak, told Dihaber that regardless of the forensic report, she would file a petition at the Mardin Penal Court of Peace demanding Türk’s release.
The court ruled for Türk’s release on the 43rd day of his arrest. He will be released from Elazığ Prison, where he is incarcerated.
Lawyer Boztoprak announced the news about Türk’s release from her Twitter account. She wrote that Türk was released on judicial probation and has to check in at a police station three days a week and that a travel ban was imposed on him.
Türk suffers from heart disease and diabetes and has a pacemaker. He also reportedly developed cataracts in prison.
Türk is known for his efforts to find a peaceful solution to Turkey’s longstanding Kurdish problem.
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 in late 2016 arrested 11 HDP deputies, including the party’s Co-chairs Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ. One of these deputies, İdris Baluken, was released from jail on Monday. With the arrest of two more HDP deputies this week, there are currently 12 HDP deputies behind bars.