Pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputy Altan Tan was sentenced to 2 years in prison by a Turkish court on Thursday. The court has aslo ruled for the suspension of the sentence.
HDP deputy Tan was charged with “inciting people to hatred and hostility” due to a speech he gave in Şanlıurfa on the occasion of Newruz celebrations on March 21, 2012.
Tan had said during the speech that “The Interior Minister and Prime Minister said that ‘we’ve shot Kurds, filled the dungeons with them, suppressed them.’ The crackdowns didn’t discourage us in the periods of İsmet Pasha, Mustafa Kemal, Mahmut Bozkurt; will they discourage us? You will not be able to discourage Kurds. Here are the squares, Kurdish people will have their own rights like other peoples. This is your last chance. You will come to your sense, there is no other way.”
Turkey has stepped up its crackdown on Kurdish politicians since last fall. 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. There are currently 11 HDP deputies who are behind bars including the party’s Co-chairpersons Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ.
June 16, 2017