Figen Yüksekdağ, former co-chair of the now-defunct Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), accused the Turkish judiciary of transforming into a “violent mechanism” for political suppression during her defence in the Kobani Case. The trial, a focal point for discussions on Kurdish politics in Turkey, took place at the Sincan Prison Campus, Ankara on Tuesday.
Yüksekdağ criticised the handling of the case as a continuation of the government’s ‘leniency policies’, which have been perceived as lenient towards ISIS, arguing that it represents a miscarriage of justice. She highlighted the irony in prosecuting those who fought against ISIS, while the government allegedly protected members of the group. “The judiciary has become an instrument of political repression,” Yüksekdağ stated, asserting that the trial is part of a broader political attack against the Kurdish movement.
In her speech, Yüksekdağ claimed that the legal system in Turkey has been corrupted, serving the interests of the government rather than justice. She accused the government of harbouring ISIS members, contrasting this with the persecution of Kurdish rights advocates. “Those who should be on trial are being protected,” she said, emphasising the unjust nature of the proceedings.
The former HDP leader positioned herself and her colleagues as the rightful judges in this “humanity case”, demanding accountability and calling for a reevaluation of the case.