World Bulletin / News Desk
The chief prosecutor in eastern Van province urged the court to sentence HDP Van deputy Tugba Hezer Ozturk to an aggravated life sentence and up to 22.5 years in jail, the prosecutor's office revealed on Monday.
According to the indictment, Ozturk was accused of making a declaration of “self-rule” in Van’s Ercis district; attending the funeral of PKK terrorists, including Azad Gunay's, who was killed during a clash with the Turkish security forces on Nov. 5 2015 and three other terrorists who were killed in Cizre, a southeastern town in Turkey.
Last year in November, the Van prosecutor launched another probe against Ozturk. She was accused of “being a member of an armed organization", "disruption of unity and territorial integrity of the state" and "terror propaganda".
The chief prosecutor had back also asked the court to sentence Ozturk to penalties comprising an aggravated life sentence and up to 48 years in jail.
Ozturk is one of 15 HDP deputies for whom arrest orders had been issued for failing to answer public prosecutors’ summons linked to an ongoing counter-terrorism probe. Ozturk could not be arrested because she was abroad; 13 others were arrested in November last year. Ten of them, including party co-chairs, Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag, remain in custody awaiting trial for the terrorism-related offenses. Turkish authorities have repeatedly said there was nothing unconstitutional or unlawful in their arrests, stating the lawmakers were going through normal legal procedures.
Their arrests were made possible after certain lawmakers’ parliamentary immunity was lifted earlier this year.
The government has accused the HDP of having links to the PKK, which is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU.