Ankara: Prokurdic HDP politician Gergerlioğlu arrested


First they withdrew his parliamentary seat from him, then they arrested him: now the pro-Kurdish politician Gergerlioğlu is sitting in a maximum security prison in Ankara.

A good two weeks after his mandate was withdrawn, the Turkish judiciary arrested the pro-Kurdish politician Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu. He was taken to the Sincan maximum security prison in the capital Ankara on Saturday, as his lawyer told the German Press Agency.

Court accuses Gergerlioğlu of terrorist propaganda

Gergerlioğlu is a politician of the opposition party HDP and is known in Turkey for his commitment to human rights. Two weeks ago, his mandate as a member of parliament was withdrawn due to a final judgment on terrorist propaganda.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accuses the HDP of being the extended arm of the banned Kurdish Workers’ Party PKK. The HDP strictly rejects this.

Gergerlioğlu’s son Salih told the dpa that the police beat and insulted his father when he was arrested on Friday evening in his apartment in Ankara. He has injuries to his arms and neck. There was initially no comment from the government.

Gergerlioğlu: “No tyranny can stop”

Gergerlioğlu stated in a video published on Twitter: “Even if I am thrown in prison, I will remain a representative of the people.” And further: “We will be united again. No tyranny can stop us.”

Gergerlioğlu had been sentenced to two and a half years in prison for a tweet from 2016. The verdict is controversial, Gergerlioğlu criticizes it as politically motivated. According to the Turkish constitution, a parliamentary mandate can be revoked if the institution has committed a criminal offense that would have precluded a candidacy from the outset.

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