Kurdish politician Aysel Tuğluk, Co-Chair of the Democratic Society Congress (DTK), is still in the dock in Ankara and Diyarbakır under allegations of "spreading propaganda for an illegal organization".
Tuğluk, former Member of Parliament for the banned pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP), appeared before the 4th High Criminal Court of Diyarbakır (south-eastern Turkey) on Thursday (24 March). The trial was adjourned to 26 May.
Tuğluk's lawyer Fethi Gümüş informed bianet that they requested additional time for the preparation of the defence. The court accepted the demand and postponed the case accordingly, Gümüş said.
Tuğluk is tried on charges of "spreading propaganda for an illegal organization" in twelve different incidents and "committing a crime on behalf of an illegal organization without membership in the organization".
The indictment seeks prison terms of up to 70 years in total for Tuğluk. The charges stem from twelve speeches delivered in the Kurdish-majority city of Diyarbakır between 2005 and 2009.
Ankara: Five-year prison threat
Moreover, Tuğluk is being tried together with former DTP MP Ahmet Türk at the 12th High Criminal Court of Turkey's capital Ankara.
This time, charges of "making propaganda for a separatist terrorist organization" are being pressed against the DTK Co-Chairs Tuğluk and Türk based on speeches given at the First Regular Congress of the DTP in 2006.
The trial was continued on Tuesday (22 March). The prosecutor demanded Türk's acquittal in his final speech. For Tuğluk he requested a prison sentence of up to five years according to Article 7/2 of the Anti-Terror Law (TMY).
According to the Etkin News Agency (ETHA), neither of the defendants attended the hearing. Defence lawyer Mehmet Nuri Özmen announced that he appreciated the prosecutor's opinion on Türk but did not agree with his plea for Tuğluk.
Özmen said that the speeches of his clients should be evaluated within the scope of freedom of expression and hence he demanded his clients' acquittal. The final decision on the case is expected for the session on 21 June.
In the context of another case pending at the Diyarbakır 4th High Criminal Court, Türk is facing imprisonment of up to 45 years under allegations of "making propaganda for an illegal organization". (EÇ/EÖ/VK)
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