During the 27th term of the assembly, a total of 986 indictments were prepared against the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) MPs in parliament to lift their immunity and prosecute them with charges including “insulting the president”, “inciting public hatred and violence” and “slander”. Actions, events, statements, and even social media posts within the scope of political party activities might be among the reasons for these indictments.
Erdal Aydemir, a member of the Constitutional Committee of the Parliament, spoke to Mesopotamia News Agency regarding the latest developments.
“Any steps taken by the HDP deputies might be a reason for an indictment. Prosecutors who are preparing these indictments are abusing their duty,” he said.
HDP Diyarbakır (Amed) Deputy Semra Güzel participated in a protest against the detention of Mayor Orhan Ayaz in the Bismil district of Diyarbakır on 21 October 2019. This became the subject of an indictment against her. Güzel had been beaten by the police in the demonstration and received a report confirming this. But she still stands accused of “organising illegal meetings and demonstrations, participating in those events”.
Kemal Kurkut indictment
An indictment was prepared against the former HDP co-chair and Van (Wan) Deputy Sezai Temelli for sharing a message regarding the murder of a young man, Kemal Kurkut, who was killed by police during the Newroz Celebrations in 2017. Temelli wrote the following statement on his social media account to protest the acquittal of the police who murdered Kurkut: “Here’s legal reform; The police who shot Kemal Kurkut was acquitted for lack of evidence! Capital, reform, and persecution of Kurds.”
This message was regarded as a threat to public security and an indictment was prepared for “inciting public hatred and violence”.
A press statement is a crime
Diyarbakır Deputy Remziye Tosun made a press statement in front of the HDP Yenişehir District Organisation building on 16 October 2019. This was also considered a crime and an indictment was prepared against her for organising an illegal action.
Indictment prepared for a meeting in which he did not participate
One of the most absurd indictments involved the Bingol Deputy, Erdal Aydemir. Although he did not participate in the HDP’s “Middle East Crisis and Democratic National Resolution” conference held in Diyarbakır on 27-28 October 2018, it was reported that he did not “react” to the speech of co-chair Pervin Buldan. This became a reason for yet another indictment.
“An indictment is prepared as if I was there at a conference which I did not attend,” said Aydemir. “This alone is a clear indication that the current judicial practices are operating under the rule of the government. There are also unreasonable claims about me such as ‘why I did not interfere with her speech’, even though I was not there to talk. This is the most concrete case that shows the situation of the judiciary and government in Turkey.”
He added, “We are just laughing at those things since whatever an HDP deputy does, they prepare indictments.”
He was also critical of prosecutors. “I can say that the prosecutors who prepared the investigations and indictments neglected their legal duties or even abused their duties, and acted in a way that a prosecutor should never have done.”
Call for Şentop
Aydemir recalled the statements of the Speaker of the Parliament, Mustafa Şentop.
“The Speaker of the Assembly, Mustafa Şentop, said that too many indictments are sent and it is upsetting for him,” said Aydemir. “We are also calling out to Şentop, the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Justice and law enforcement and prosecutors through them. There should be no investigations regarding the speeches of the HDP MPs.”
The HDP deputy also added that they will continue their struggle despite the unlawfulness they experience. “The way for a just and democratic country is through establishing democratic methods, strengthening the opposition, and coming together. Democracy in Turkey will be reconstructed and we continue to work for it.”