Pro-PKK Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-Chairperson Mithat Sancar demanded the release of the terrorist group’s leader Abdullah Öcalan, who is currently serving a life sentence in prison.
Sancar, who recently spoke at a public meeting in Şırnak, said the notorious terrorist leader needs to be freed, adding that his party will seek his freedom when forming an alliance.
The HDP co-chair said Öcalan’s release was “necessary” to solve the Kurdish issue in the country.
He noted that the HDP would seek to form a “freedom alliance” against the ruling alliance led by the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and its partner, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).
Öcalan, 70, founded the PKK in 1978, was captured in 1999 and sentenced to death due to his role in the terrorist group's decadeslong campaign against the Turkish state, which led to the deaths of more than 40,000 people.
After the abolishment of the death penalty in Turkey in 2002, Öcalan's sentence was commuted to life imprisonment. He is being held in a high-security prison on Imralı Island in the Sea of Marmara.
The HDP is currently facing a closure case for its ties to the terrorist group.
The indictment accuses HDP leaders and its members of acting in a way that flouts the democratic and universal rules of law, colluding with PKK terrorists and affiliated groups and aiming to destroy and eliminate the indivisible integrity of the state with its country and nation.
The move follows growing calls by Turkish political leaders for the HDP to be officially closed down. In recent years, more and more HDP executives and elected officials have been charged with terrorism-related offenses.
The HDP has also been criticized for transferring taxpayer money and funds to the PKK. HDP mayors and local officials have been found to misuse funds in support of the PKK terrorist group and provide jobs to PKK sympathizers.
Its mayors have been accused of undermining municipal services, allowing the PKK to dig ditches in the streets and launch attacks on police and soldiers when the terrorist group adopted an urban warfare strategy in July 2015 and ended a two-year reconciliation period.
HDP municipalities and their staff were also found to be actively participating in terrorist attacks launched after July 2015.
The party's role in the riots of Oct. 6-7, 2014, was also included in the indictment. In October 2014, amid a Daesh siege on the YPG, on Ain al-Arab (Kobani) Demirtaş and other HDP officials called for riots.
In the events that would become known as the Oct. 6-7 Kobani riots, 31 people were killed and some 350 others were injured in clashes between pro-PKK and conservative Kurdish groups and security forces throughout Turkey, especially in the southeast.
During the violence, 16-year-old Yasin Börü was brutally murdered by the terrorist group's supporters in southeastern Diyarbakır when he was distributing meat for poor families. Following the events, more than 1,600 investigations were launched, 894 suspects were detained and 386 of them were imprisoned. Eighteen of the 41 suspects were sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Börü and his friends.
Holding the party responsible for their children's abduction or recruitment by the PKK, Kurdish families have also been staging a sit-in protest in front of the party's southeastern Diyarbakır provincial office for more than a year.
In Turkey, the closure of political parties is decided by the Constitutional Court, based on an indictment filed by the Supreme Court Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office.
Instead of permanent dissolution, the 15-member Constitutional Court may instead decide to partially or completely cut off state aid to the party, depending on the severity of the acts in question.
In its more than 40-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union – has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.
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