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Turkey’s top court rules to keep Kurdish politician with dementia in jail

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Turkey’s Constitutional Court Friday decided to keep a Kurdish politician with dementia in jail, the ruling said.

Aysel Tugluk, now 57, was the deputy co-chair of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) before her arrest in 2016.

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She was sentenced in 2018 to 10 years in prison for “belonging to a terrorist organization.”

The country’s top court rejected a plea for her release, but ordered that she receive regular neurological and psychiatric treatment in hospital.

“The evolution of her illness must be followed and the need for a release evaluated at regular intervals,” the court ruled.

Tugluk’s lawyer Serdar Celebi on Saturday last week told AFP that merely providing medication was not enough, and her illness was only worsening in detention.

Her supporters believe she developed dementia after witnessing Turkish nationalists attack her mother’s funeral in Ankara in 2017. She had been authorized to attend.

Tugluk was arrested for her activities with the Democratic Society Congress (DTK), an organization that Turkish authorities consider to be linked to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which Ankara and its Western allies have blacklisted as a “terrorist” organization.

Read more: 100 French MPs slam Erdogan’s ‘policy of war’ against Syrian Kurds

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