A court sentenced Aysel Tuğluk, an independent Van deputy and the co-chair of the DTK, to 14 years and seven months in prison for 10 separate speeches she delivered in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır and other cities in vicinity on the charges of "committing a crime on behalf of the armed terrorist organization PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party) without being a member" and "making propaganda on behalf of a terrorist organization."
The Diyarbakır Fourth Court for Serious Crimes convicted Tuğluk for speeches she delivered in 12 separate events she attended between 2007 and 2010. The prosecution had requested 82.5 years in prison for the independent Van deputy.
Tuğluk did not attend the trial where she received eight years and three months on the charge of "making propaganda on behalf of a terrorist organization" as stipulated in the Anti-Terror Law (TMK) and six years and three months for "committing a crime on behalf of a terrorist organization without being a member of it," as set forth in the Turkish Penal Code (TCK.)
Lawyers Fethi Gümüş and Sedat Yurtdaş expressed their disagreement with the prosecutor's legal opinion as to the accusations delivered on Oct. 19, 2011 and said Tuğluk had delivered her speeches under her idenity as a politician.
"When evaluated as a whole, the speeches' main idea [amounts to] a message of fraternity and unity. [The authorities] attempted to draw a different picture by cherry-picking a few sentences," they said, according to news that appeared in the press.
While the court acquitted Tuğluk of the charge of "making propaganda for a terrorist organization" in connection with five of her speeches, it convicted her due to 10 other speeches she had made.
The court also decided against suspending the sentence or offering alternative sanctions. The defendant side has already taken the decision to the Supreme Court of Appeals, lawyer Gümüş told bianet. (IC)