World Bulletin / News Desk
The parliamentary group leader of opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) was remanded in custody in the capital Ankara on Tuesday, according to a judiciary source.
Idris Baluken was remanded following his statement to a court in southeastern Diyarbakir province via video conference system, an unnamed judiciary source said due to restriction on talking to media.
The court issued an arrest warrant on Friday for Baluken after he was released by a lower court on Jan. 30. He had earlier spent nearly three months in prison on terrorism-related charges.
Baluken was among at least a dozen of the party’s lawmakers arrested in November 2016 after their parliamentary immunity was lifted.
The 1st High Criminal Court in Diyarbakir on Friday accepted a prosecution appeal against Baluken's release.
He faces aggravated life imprisonment on charges of disrupting the unity of the state's territorial integrity, membership of an armed terrorist group, spreading terrorist propaganda and taking part in unauthorized meetings and marches.
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 EU.
Some HDP deputies, including party leaders Figen Yuksekdag and Selahattin Demirtas, were also arrested in November 2016 after they failed to answer summons to testify as part of a counter-terrorism investigation.
Earlier Tuesday, HDP co-leader Figen Yuksekdag was removed from her seat in the Turkish parliament following her conviction on terrorism charges, according to an official announcement made on the parliament’s website.
Ayse Nur Bahcekapili, the parliament’s deputy chief, said the HDP co-leader had become ineligible for her parliamentary seat after the court upheld the sentence in accordance with Articles 76 and 84 of the country’s Constitution.
Also on Tuesday, a court in northeastern Agri province sentenced HDP co-leader Selahattin Demirtas to five months in jail on the charge of insulting the Turkish nation and state institutions, a judicial source said Tuesday.
According to the Dogubeyazit 2nd Regional Court’s order, the HDP leader faces jail time for “insulting Turkish nation, the state of Turkish Republic and public organs and institutions,” the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media, said.