Green Left Party’s parliamentary candidate in recent elections arrested on terrorism charges 

Photo: Twitter

Meryem Yıldırım, a candidate for parliament from the opposition Green Left Party (YSP) in the elections held on May 14, has been arrested on terrorism-related charges by a local court in the western province of İzmir, the pro-Kurdish Mezopotamya news agency (MA) reported.

She was earlier detained as part of an Eskişehir-based investigation over alleged involvement in the activities of the Marxist–Leninist Communist Party (MLKP), which is considered a terrorist organization by Turkey.

Seven people including Müslüm Koyun, another parliamentary candidate from the YSP, were detained in the same investigation ahead of the parliamentary elections.

YSP candidate Ayten Dönmez was also arrested in April on terrorism-related charges. 

Dönmez’s arrest came shortly after she was targeted during a live program on 24 TV by Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu, who claimed there was “a terrorist from the mountains” on the candidate lists of the YSP, referring to Dönmez. “She has worn the clothes of the PKK [outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party], and footage of her in the mountains is soon to be revealed,” Soylu said.

The PKK been waging a bloody war in Turkey’s southeast since 1984 and is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey and much of the international community.

The YSP has faced pressure since the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) announced in late March that it would run in the parliamentary elections under its banner so as to circumvent the risks that could emerge from its possible closure before the May elections.

The HDP is facing a closure case on terrorism charges that was filed in March 2021.

Both President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its ally, the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), frequently accuse the HDP of ties to the outlawed PKK, a claim the party denies.

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