European socialists vow solidarity with jailed Turkish deputy Berberoğlu

CHP deputy Enis Berberoğlu

The Party of European Socialists (PES) has vowed solidarity with Enis Berberoğlu, an imprisoned deputy from Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) whose appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeals demanding his release is expected to be assessed this week.

“We stand in solidarity with Enis Berberoğlu, Journalist and Republican People’s Party (CHP) Member of Parliament, arrested last year during Erdoğan’s crackdown on political opponents,” PES posted on their official social media accounts on Aug. 7, according to a report by the Hürriyet Daily News on Tuesday.

Berberoğlu, a former journalist, was first sentenced to 25 years in prison on espionage charges in 2017 for giving the Cumhuriyet daily a video purporting to show Turkey’s National Intelligence Organisation (MİT) trucking weapons to radical Islamist rebel groups in Syria.

After a long appeals process, his sentence was reduced to five years, 10 months in jail in February of this year.

The CHP had appealed to the top court to release him on the grounds that he was granted immunity from prosecution after being re-elected as a lawmaker in the June 24 elections, adding that his prosecution should be suspended until he is stripped of his seat in parliament.

The Supreme Court of Appeals rejected the appeal on July 20, prompting the CHP to appeal to a higher chamber within the court, which is expected to assess his case this week.

“This week, his appeal to stop legal proceedings should be known. We keep following the situation in Turkey,” PES wrote in its statement.

“The rule of law is under threat in Turkey but we hope that the appeal to Berberoğlu is approved by the court this week,” it added.

PES is a European political party that includes 34 full member parties and 12 associate and 12 observer parties in the EU and Norway. The CHP is an associate member of PES.

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