Turkey: 3+ years in prison for ex-opposition party head

By Melike Gallenkus

ISTANBUL (AA) – A former co-chair of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HPD) on Monday was sentenced to three-and-half years in prison for insulting the Turkish president.

Selahattin Demirtas got the prison sentence for insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

In November 2016, Demirtas – former co-leader of the HDP, a party Turkey has said is linked to the terrorist PKK – along with 12 HDP lawmakers were arrested on terrorism-related charges.

He was sentenced in September 2018 to four years and eight months in prison for spreading terrorist propaganda, terrorist group leadership, and public incitement to hatred and hostility.

In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US, and the EU – has been responsible for the deaths of at least 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants.

Last week, Turkey’s top prosecutor filed a case seeking to shut down the HDP, calling it an undemocratic party that colludes with the PKK terrorist group and seeks to destroy the unity of the state.

*Writing by Havva Kara Aydin