My Turkey terror trial is a sham, says Kurdish party leader

The jailed co-chair of Turkey’s main pro-Kurdish political party told the third hearing of her trial at the Sincan maximum-security prison and court complex that she believed her sentence had already been decided, the left-wing Etkin News Agency said.

Figen Yüksekdağ, her co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş, and seven other Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) members elected to parliament in November 2015 are currently jailed in Turkey facing terrorism charges. Prosecutors accuse them of links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has been fighting for self-rule for Turkey’s Kurdish minority since 1984.

 “There are desks they have set up and if you ask me, they are even deciding what punishments to give there,” the agency quoted Yüksekdağ as saying. “State of emergency orders have been issued in order to make the process easier.”

The quality of Turkish justice had declined precipitously, she said.

“The judiciary in Turkey has never been totally independent, but it has never before been this dependent and repressed,” Yüksekdağ told the court on the outskirts of the Turkish capital, Ankara.

“I have no belief that this court will make a decision without being put under pressure.”

If the judges and prosecutors defied this pressure, Yüksekdağ said, they would either be forced out of the profession or go to jail themselves.

“The justice system, economic justice system, and political justice system have come to such a point that this great homeland has been brought to the point of rotting and breaking up over the irresponsibility of a government,” she said.