One year prison sentence for Turkish opposition party co-leader

HDP co-leader Figen Yuksekdag

The imprisoned co-leader of Turkey’s left-wing opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Figen Yuksekdag has been handed a one year sentence for “propaganda for a terrorist organisation.”

The sentence was passed at the 22nd Istanbul Court of Serious Crimes, which also said Yuksekdag had “praised crime and criminals” in a speech made at a rally on the anniversary of the capture of Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Ocalan in 2015.

Yuksekdag denied the accusation saying she had made the speech to support the solution process between the government, PKK and Ocalan.

“I needed to make that speech. It was to consolidate the peace in Turkey. I do not regret it. It would have been a crime not to make the speech.”

Yuksekdag was stripped of her parliamentary immunity and then her status as a lawmaker. She has been in prison since November 2016.