Prosecutor seeks longer sentences for convicted Kurdish politicians

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Gülten Kışanak (L) and Sebahat Tuncel.

A prosecutor in Turkey on Friday opposed a previous verdict in the trial of two Kurdish politicians and demanded longer sentences for membership in a terrorist organization.

Gültan Kışanak, the dismissed mayor of Diyarbakir, and Sabahat Tuncel, a former deputy from the Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), were handed down sentences of 11 years, three months and five years, three months, respectively, in February by the Malatya 5th High Criminal Court.  The two women were convicted of membership in a terrorist organization, the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Malatya prosecutor Murat Karakuş opposed the verdict, asking for a double conviction on charges of disseminating terrorist propaganda and requested the longest sentence possible, the Gazete Duvar news site reported.

Turkey has been cracking down on Kurdish politicians at the national and local level since the government’s negotiations for reconciliation on the Kurdish issue with the PKK were terminated after the June 2015 elections.

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