Terror charges could get HDP leader life in prison

HDP Co-Chair Figen Yüksekdağ accused of spreading terrorist propaganda and supporting separatism

Anadolu Agency
Prosecutors are seeking life in prison for an opposition party co-leader on charges of disrupting the unity and territorial integrity of the state and spreading terrorist propaganda, according to judicial sources.

A court Thursday accepted an indictment prepared by the public prosecutor's office in the eastern Van province calling for Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) Co-Chair Figen Yüksekdağ to serve life in prison, said the sources, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

In the indictment, Yuksekdağ was also accused of supporting a declaration of “self-rule" in Van.

Last November, in a separate indictment, Van prosecutors filed the same charges against Yuksekdag, in addition to being a member of an armed organization, stemming from an October 2015 campaign speech in which she reportedly referred to slain PKK terrorists as martyrs.

Last month, 13 HDP lawmakers were arrested, and 10 of them, including Co-Chairs Yuksekdag and Selahattin Demirtaş, remain in custody awaiting trial on terrorism-related charges.

The lawmakers face prosecution under anti-terrorism legislation after their 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.