The Turkish authorities have demanded that the former mayor of the southeastern province of Diyarbakır (Amed) prove that he is living in order to receive his pension, Medyascope reported on Saturday.
Osman Baydemir, who served as mayor of Diyarbakır from 2004 to 2014 and subsequently as a Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) MP, became eligible for retirement two years ago.
However the politician, who currently lives in exile in the UK, has not been receiving his pension, as the Turkish authorities have demanded that he prove he is still alive. Baydemir’s lawyers told Medyascope news site that they have handed all the requisite documents to the authorities, but have received no response. People from Baydemir’s immediate circle told the news site that the politician does not want to raise this issue in the media, as there are more important problems people face.
Turkish prosecutors issued a red notice in 2020 for Baydemir’s extradition on a charge of “membership of an armed terrorist group”.
The politician was stripped of his parliamentary status in 2018 after a Turkish court sentenced him to 18 months in prison for violating the law on public meetings and demonstrations.
Turkey’s Constitutional Court last month approved a 2017 disciplinary penalty against then MP Baydemir for using the word “Kurdistan” in a speech in parliament.