A Turkish court decided on Tuesday to release the seven members of the Youth Assembly of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) who have been held for six months since they were arrested in the southern province of Mersin on 23 May.
The detainees, who were charged with “membership of an illegal organisation”, will be released under judicial supervision, according to the Mezopotamya Agency. They argued before the court that their party activities had been unjustly criminalised and stressed the legality of their actions. The court postponed the hearing to a later date.
On the same day, 77-year-old Halil Aksoy, a former Ağrı (Agirî) MP of the HDP, was arrested in a separate case after being detained. Aksoy, who is also facing a sentence of eight years and nine months for “membership of an illegal organisation”, was immediately sent to a prison in Ankara.
Co-chair of the Peoples’ Party for Equality and Democracy (HEDEP), Tuncer Bakırhan, criticised the judiciary for what he called its unfair treatment of politicians and opponents on his X account.
Citing Aksoy’s age and health problems, Bakırhan called for the former deputy’s immediate release by postponing the verdict and vowed to challenge what he called “an unjust and rotten order”.