HDP’s former co-leader held over terror propaganda

By Orhan Onur Gemici and Cankut Tasdan

ANKARA (AA) – Turkish opposition party’s former co-leader was arrested in the capital Ankara on Tuesday for allegedly spreading terrorist propaganda during her party’s congress, according to a security source.

Peoples’ Democratic Party’s (HDP) Serpil Kemalbay’s arrest took place in Cankaya district after an arrest warrant was issued for her by the provincial chief public prosecutor’s office, said the source, who asked not to be named due to the restrictions on speaking to the media.

The arrest warrant came as part of the investigation over her remarks, spreading terrorist propaganda at the party’s third ordinary congress on Sunday.

On Monday, Pervin Buldan and Sirri Sureyya Onder, the HDP deputies, faced legal scrutiny and charges for allegedly using terrorist propaganda at the same event.

Buldan was indicted for being a member of the terrorist PKK and could face five to 10 years jail terms.

Onder also faced an investigation on allegations of spreading terrorist propaganda, provoking public hatred and hostility, and praising crime and criminals at the party’s third ordinary congress on Sunday.

During the congress, posters could be seen showing Abdullah Ocalan, the jailed head of the terrorist PKK, while both Buldan and Onder accused Turkish forces of killing civilians during Operation Olive Branch and also allegedly spread PKK propaganda during their speeches.

On Jan. 20, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch to clear the PYD-YPG/PKK — the Syrian offshoot of the PKK — and Daesh terrorists from Afrin in northwestern Syria.