More than 100 people linked to a pro-Kurdish party are to go on trial Monday in Turkey’s capital, Ankara, for their alleged involvement in violent protests nearly seven years ago.
Prosecutors have charged the 108 defendants with 29 crimes, including the murders of 37 people, and are seeking multiple life sentences and thousands of years in prison The pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party, or HDP, says the trial is politically motivated and is the latest in a severe government crackdown against them.
Among the defendants are the former leaders of the HDP. Although they did not directly carry out violent acts, they have been charged with these offenses for inciting the violence.
All the charges relate to the “Kobani protests” that took place Oct. 6-8, 2014, as ISIS was closing in on the Syrian town of Kobani, right across the Turkish border. As IS took over the countryside and entered the town, Syrian Kurdish militants fought the extremists in street-to-street battles.
Many ethnic Kurds in Turkey were frustrated by what they saw as the Turkish government’s inaction to help defeat ISIS. They were demanding Turkey open the border.
Smaller protests were already taking place but they turned bigger after the HDP, on Oct. 6, tweeted an “urgent call” for people to take to the streets and protest the IS attacks and the Turkish government’s “embargo” on Kobani. It said the situation was critical in Kobani.
The protests turned violent but the HDP maintains their call was peaceful and that there were provocateurs. The 3,350-page indictment says 37 people died, 761 — including hundreds of law enforcement officers — were wounded, 197 schools were burned, 269 public buildings damaged, 1,731 homes and businesses looted and 1,230 cars made unusable.
Turkey orders 532 arrests in military probe over 2016 coup attempt: AnadoluTurkish prosecutors ordered the arrest of 532 suspects including 459 serving military personnel in an operation targeting people linked to a Muslim ... Middle East
Turkey says it will respond in time to 'outrageous' US genocide statementU.S. President Joe Biden's declaration that massacres of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire constituted genocide is "simply outrageous" and Turkey will ... World News
Turkey summons US ambassador over Biden’s 1915 Armenian genocide recognitionTurkey’s foreign ministry said it summoned the US Ambassador to Ankara over President Joe Biden’s recognition of the 1915 massacres of Armenians in ... Middle East