An email supposedly sent by an informant and used as evidence against Hüsamettin Tanrıkulu, a former member of the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) Youth Assembly, has been disclosed as having originated from Turkey’s General Directorate of Security, the national headquarters of the police. Tanrıkulu faces up to 15 years in prison on a charge of “membership of a terrorist organisation”.
The email’s origin casts a shadow over the impartiality of the legal proceedings. Nagehan Avçil, Tanrıkulu’s lawyer, criticised the judicial process, stating that it lacks impartiality and independence. She argued that the case reflects the government’s policy against Kurdish youth and serves as a form of political intimidation.
The role of former Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu has further muddled the impartiality of the judiciary process. Soylu had publicly targeted Tanrıkulu prior to his arrest, making accusations on Twitter (X) that he was engaged in PKK activity, thereby raising questions about the impartiality of the judicial process. Avçil drew attention to the fact that her client had already been under police surveillance and was arrested shortly after Soylu’s public denouncement. She said that the police told Tanrıkulu, “After this tweet [from Soylu], you have no chance of being released”, indicating the disproportionate influence of Soylu’s actions on the proceedings.
Additionally, two witnesses testified that Tanrıkulu was involved solely in peaceful political work and never engaged in any “[terrorist] organisation activities”, but nevertheless the court has decided to consider the so-called informant’s email as circumstantial evidence in the case.
The final hearing is scheduled for Tuesday at Istanbul Severe Penalty Court No 29.