The Kobani case against 108 people will commence on 26 April at Ankara’s 22nd High Criminal Court in Turkey. Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) former Co-Chairs Figen Yüksekdağ and Selahattin Demirtaş will be among the defendants. In the meantime, examinations of 28 politicians have begun. Imprisoned HDP politicians have had to connect to hearings through SEGBİS (a Sound and Video Information System).
The prosecution has stated that there is a strong suspicion of crime and concrete evidence and judicial control measures would be insufficient against the HDP politicians. The prosecutor also claimed that the decision of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) regarding Selahattin Demirtaş had nothing to do with this file and demanded an order for the continuation of detention for all politicians.
Selahattin Demirtaş made his first defense in a hearing. “The indictment relating to the closure of the HDP is ridiculous”, he said. Former HDP Co-Chair Figen Yüksekdağ also demanded the closure of the Kobani Case on behalf of the country. “It is a shame for Turkey”, she said.
Former HDP Deputy Sebahat Tuncel also criticised the court. “Do you think you will be able to solve the Kurdish question with such trials?”, she asked. Another Kurdish female politician, former Co-Mayor of Diyarbakır Metropolitan Municipality Gültan Kışanak, stated: “The indictment is a shame for the history of democracy in Turkey”.
Other imprisoned politicians made similar statements, noting that they had “no expectations” from a lawsuit that had been filed at the request of the government after six years. A press release was issued before the hearing in front of the Ankara Courthouse. HDP Co-Chairperson Ümit Dede stated: “The political power is putting pressure on the judges. We underline that the indictments against all opponents are against the law, including the one against Selahattin Demirtas. They are imprisoned by a jurisdiction that is under the control of the ones in power”.