Forensic report says Kurdish politician Türk physically fit to stay in prison

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Although prominent Kurdish politician and former Co-mayor of Mardin province Ahmet Türk, 74, suffers from serious health problems, a report prepared by the Council of Forensic Medicine has said Türk is physically fit to stay in prison, according to the Dihaber news portal.

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 will file a petition at the Mardin Penal Court of Peace demanding Türk’s release.

“Although the forensic report says Türk can stay in prison, a person’s imprisonment under these circumstances is simply an act of torture,” the lawyer said.

Türk suffers from heart disease and diabetes and has a pacemaker. He also reportedly developed cataracts in prison.

Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Şafak Pavey, who visited Türk twice in prison, said: “Ahmet Türk’s condition is gradually worsening. We are waiting for an urgent and fair decision.”

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.

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