As the fourth hearing of the ‘Kobane trial’ in Turkey started at the Ankara 22nd Heavy Penal Court on 20 September, Kenan Maçoğlu, a lawyer and a member of the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) Law Commission, drew attention to a document in the case file which reportedly instructs the prosecutors how they should proceed.
108 people are facing charges related to the Kobane demonstrations in October 2014 during which there were violent incidents resulting in deaths. Although the mass demonstrations for solidarity with the Kurdish resistance in Syria’s northern city of Kobane against the assault by the Islamic State (ISIS) were peaceful and most of the people killed in separate incidents were supporters of the HDP, the HDP executives have been indicted for inciting violence leading to deaths, in line with the accusations that have been made by senior government officials.
20 people are currently in custody, including former HDP co-chairs and Central Executive Board members.
Kenan Maçoğlu, from the HDP’s Law Commission, had for the first time presented the five-page document bearing the letterhead of the Turkish Security Forces Ankara Counter-Terrorism Branch at the court on 14 June 2021.
Maçoğlu once again brought it to attention, publicly asking that the source is identified and an explanation as to how, why and to what ends it was included in the case file that was provided. “If it is revealed how this document was prepared, it will be revealed how the plot was prepared,” he said.
”This is a document dated 26 October 2018,” he told Mesopotamia News Agency (MA). “There’s no signature. It’s just a five-page document. The letterhead belongs to Ankara Counter-Terrorism Branch. There is a date but no signature. It is uncertain who prepared it.”
Indicating that the document actually stated in detail how the prosecutors should proceed, Maçoğlu pointed out that it would have been likely that the former HDP co-chairs Figen Yüksekdağ and Selahattin Demirtaş would have received light prison sentences if they had been indicted on the charges that had been directed at them previously.
However, “the document provides a detailed assessment on how they should be tried for the death of 37 people, which is the case in the current file,” he said. “The document describes in detail how the prosecutors should proceed. Figen Yüksekdağ, Selahattin Demirtaş and other deputies were already on trial for incidents on 6-8 October but it was likely that they could be sentenced to six months to three years in prison on charges directed previously.
“The document says that this should not be the case. There is a detailed assessment that they should be tried for the death of 37 people, which is the case in the current file. Henceforth, the prosecutor has taken all the steps in accordance with this document.”
”This document was delivered in 2018 to the prosecutor who had been handpicked for the case. He declared ‘confidentiality’ over the file in 2019, and then went on with efforts to find both secret and open witnesses in order to manufacture evidence. (…) While still no new evidence could be included in the file, Yüksekdağ and Demirtaş were arrested for the second time. The efforts bore some fruit though, after that. First, the secret witness ‘Mahir,’ then Kerem Gökalp, a ‘confessor’ in prison, made witness statements. They made allegations which constituted the basis of the current indictment.”