Turkish court imposes travel ban on CHP deputy Erdem following indictment

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Eren Erdem, who was not included on his party’s nomination list for the June 24 general election, was not allowed to leave Turkey on Monday as he had been indicted by an İstanbul court, the T24 news website reported.

“A travel ban was imposed on me. We learned it when starting a trip that had been planned in advance,” Erdem tweeted.

Reacting to stories in the pro-government media and posted by social media trolls, Erdem said: “This is not first time a travel ban has been imposed on me. It was done before, too. They had said then “he’ll flee.” We will defeat fascism in this country. I’m not going anywhere,” added Erdem.

Recalling that he has a house in Germany and that he travels to that country every 15 to 20 days, Erdem also criticized his party: “This decision [of a travel ban] was taken when my name was not put on the list [of CHP deputy nominees for the June 24 elections]. My party knew this would happen.”

The travel ban was issued by the İstanbul 35th High Criminal Court after accepting an indictment that demands 22 years in prison for Erdem for his articles in the Karşı daily about the Dec. 17-25, 2013 corruption investigations, which implicated four ministers and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s family. Erdem served as editor-in-chief of Karşı, which was established on Feb. 9, 2014 and closed due to financial problems after only 66 days of operation.

The indictment claims that Erdem published documents in cooperation with the Gülen movement.


Meanwhile, the CHP’s candidate list for the parliamentary elections on June 24 has been leaked, sparking a debate among incumbent deputies of the party on Sunday evening. According to a T24 report on the leaked candidate list, almost 70 percent of 48 deputies who supported a critical statement titled “Democratic CHP” during the last party congress in April were not nominated by Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu.

Among those deputies, only Selin Sayek Böke and Orhan Sarıbal, prominent critics of party politics, were named as candidates for parliament.

The party’s vice chairman, Erdal Aksünger, argued that the way the list was drawn up was anti-democratic since it was only up to Kılıçdaroğlu, according to the Özgürüz news website. The list will negatively affect the CHP’s election performance, Aksünger claimed.

Another group of deputies who are close to the CHP’s presidential candidate, Muharrem İnce, were not on the list. “Don’t be concerned about these things. All nominees are our friends,” İnce said during a rally in Bartın province.

Since it was not the official nomination list, changes can be expected, including names from the CHP’s ally, the Felicity Party (SP).

CHP deputy Haluk Pekşen, also not on the list, claimed that those who opposed former President Abdullah Gül’s presidential candidacy in a joint nomination from the opposition parties were not nominated, the Diken news website reported.

Jailed CHP deputy Enis Berberoğlu, who has been in pretrial detention since June 14, 2017, was also nominated.

Former Justice and Development Party (AKP) member Abdüllatif Şener was among the candidates who will run as a member from Konya, a conservative stronghold.

Popular party members Barış Yarkadaş and Eren Erdem were also left out, which sparked a controversy on social media because they have been very active in journalists’ trials for the last couple of years. (SCF with turkishminute.com)

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