Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu has returned to the parliament following the reinstatement of his parliamentary status.
A human rights activist and an MP with the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), he had been sentenced to two years and six months in prison on a charge of spreading propaganda for the Workers Party of Kurdistan (PKK).
The ruling was based on a social media post containing a picture of two mothers behind two coffins, one covered with the Turkish national flag and the other with the flag of PKK. Below the picture Gergerlioğlu had tweeted saying, “Though the flags are different, the mothers are the same.’
He was stripped of his parliamentary status on 17 March, and arrested in a raid by anti-terrorist teams on his home on 2 April.
Gergerlioğlu returned to the parliament two weeks after the Constitutional Court decided that his rights had been violated and ordered his immediate release, an order which was only executed five days later. On 16 July, the resolution to reinstate his parliamentary status was announced in the parliament.
Gergerlioğlu addressed the General Assembly on the same day.
He started by referring to his resistance on the day he was forced to leave the parliament. “I resisted because I was right,” he said. “I was faced with an illegal decision, a political decision. I resisted for the people, for democracy. My party resisted, the people resisted, and finally I have returned, thanks to the power of the people and democracy.”
He ended his speech by thanking everybody who had put up resistance against the injustice: “Today is the day the will of the people prevails over all injustices; the day the victory of the people is manifested. Thank you to everybody.”