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Politician faces probe for tweeting photo of last person executed in Turkey

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An investigation has been launched into an opposition party official for tweeting a photo of Hıdır Aslan, the last person executed in Turkey, on allegations of disseminating propaganda for a terrorist organization, the ANKA news agency reported.

Aslan was executed by hanging on October 25, 1984 at the age of 28 after conviction of membership in an illegal organization, although he hadn’t been convicted of any murders.

According to ANKA, the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office launched an investigation into Murat Güzel, an official from the Left (SOL} Party, after he shared a photo of Aslan on Twitter.

In his statement to the counterterrorism police in Ankara, Güzel explained that his posts regarding former members of illegal organizations in Turkey who were executed “weren’t shared with the aim of committing a crime” but were posted “within the scope of freedom of expression,” ANKA said.

Releasing a written statement, the SOL Party said it expected the investigation to be dismissed.

“Commemorating the revolutionaries we lost in the past can never be accepted as a crime and associated with terrorism,” it said.

After Aslan’s execution, which provoked an international outcry, the Turkish parliament suspended all capital punishment cases pending approval. In conformity with the European Convention on Human Rights, the parliament abolished the death penalty in all instances, including wartime, on Aug. 3, 2002.

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