Pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Şırnak deputy Leyla Birlik has been detained on charges of insulting Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the Cumhuriyet daily reported on Tuesday.
According to the report, Birlik, who was detained at her home on Tuesday morning, was taken to a courthouse in Şırnak due to an investigation launched into her on accusations of insulting Erdoğan.
Also on Tuesday, an İzmir court sentenced Turkish pop singer Pınar Aydınlar to 10 months in prison on charges of disseminating propaganda for a terrorist organization during speeches for the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) in the June 7, 2015 general election.
According to the Gazete Duvar website, the İzmir 2nd High Criminal Court also sentenced HDP official Hacay Yılmaz to 10 months on similar charges to Aydınlar, who was a candidate for deputy from the HDP in the June 2015 elections. Aydınlar and Yılmaz are expected to surrender to authorities within one week after notification of the decision is delivered to their residences.
The government has been criticized for stepping up a crackdown on Kurdish politicians. There are currently 11 HDP deputies behind bars in Turkey. Trustees have been appointed to dozens of municipalities in the country’s predominantly Kurdish Southeast, while hundreds of local Kurdish politicians have been arrested on terror charges.
Scores of people in Turkey have been detained or arrested or are under investigation on allegations of insulting Erdoğan. As of the end of 2016, at least 10,000 people were under investigation on suspicion of terrorist propaganda and insulting senior state officials on social media.
A total of 1,080 people were convicted of insulting Erdoğan in 2016, according to data from Turkey’s Justice Ministry. Data also showed that 4,936 cases were launched against people on charges of insult in 2016. (SCF with turkishminute.com)