An indictment drafted by the Diyarbakır Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office seeking between 9.5 and 23 years for pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) İzmir deputy Ertuğrul Kürkcü on three different terror charges has been accepted by the Diyarbakır 10th High Criminal Court.
The indictment accuses Kürkçü of “membership in an armed terror organization,” “disseminating the propaganda of a terrorist organization” and “provoking the public to hatred, enmity or insult.”
The indictment mentions attacks by outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) terrorists on security forces following the declaration of self-rule in Kurdish regions and makes an assessment of the statements of Kürkçü, who spoke during a press meeting organized by the HDP and Democratic Society Congress (DTK).
HDP deputies launched a series of protests on Tuesday that will continue until Nov. 4, the anniversary of the imprisonment of HDP Co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş along with eight other party deputies. The HDP is expected to hold its group meetings in different provinces, where protests will be staged for a week at a time, rather than in the Turkish Parliament, to draw attention to the situation of the imprisoned deputies.
Demirtaş, along with Yüksekdağ and seven other HDP politicians, was detained on Nov. 4, 2016 and ultimately arrested on charges of terrorism.
There are currently 11 HDP deputies behind bars in Turkey after the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government stepped up a crackdown on Kurdish politicians last fall. Trustees have been appointed to dozens of municipalities in the country’s predominantly Kurdish Southeast, while hundreds of local Kurdish politicians have been arrested on terror charges.
The developments have attracted widespread criticism from the region and Western countries.