Turkey’s Constitutional Court orders compensation for former pro-Kurdish party executive

The Turkish Constitutional Court has ruled in favor of Can Memiş, a former member of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) central executive committee, granting him 40,000 Turkish lira in compensation, the Arti Gercek news website reported.

Memiş, who had been detained as part of the “Kobanê trial,” claimed that he was subjected to rights violations, which the court acknowledged, stating that the authorities had failed to demonstrate sufficient probable cause for his arrest.

The Kobanê trial is a prosecution that has led to the imprisonment of dozens of Kurdish politicians for allegedly instigating a series of protests in the Kurdish-majority southeastern provinces in 2014, in reaction to clashes between Syrian Kurds and the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

The deadly 2014 protests erupted as ISIL militants laid siege to the predominantly Kurdish Syrian town of Kobanê. Thirty-seven people died in demonstrations protesting the Turkish army’s inaction in the face of the ISIL offensive.

Dozens of Kurdish politicians in Turkey are accused of links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), although the party strongly denies any ties. The PKK has waged an insurgency against the Turkish state since 1984 and is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey and its Western allies.

A government crackdown on Kurdish parties and politicians in Turkey reached new heights following a coup attempt in the country in July 2016.

Dozens of democratically elected Kurdish mayors were removed from office, while a large number of Kurdish politicians, including former party executives, were jailed following the failed coup.

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