Jan 08 2018

Terror victim sentenced to 6 years on terrorism charges

A Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) official who survived an Islamic State (ISIS) bombing with mild concussed in 2015 was sentenced to 6 years and 3 months in prison on charges of belonging to the illegal Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), leftwing news agency Etkin said.

Merve Nur İşleyici was among six female HDP members studying at Süleyman Demirel University and Pamukkale University who were sentenced to long prison terms after attending a memorial demonstration for Sakine Cansız, a PKK member killed under suspicious circumstances in Paris, Etkin said.

İşleyici, presently an HDP board member in the Isparta province, told the court that she had merely expressed her opinion in statements to the press at the event, which was held at the time of the peace process, during which there was no active conflict between Turkey and the PKK.

Her lawyer, Erkan Metin, said he would appeal the ruling.

“The decision is completely subjective and unjust,” he said. “It is an illegal, political decision.”

İşleyici had attended a press conference of leftist students preparing to visit the majority-Kurdish Syrian city of Kobane in the border town of Suruç in 2015 when an ISIS suicide bomber launched an attack, killing himself and 33 others and injuring 104.

“Suddenly I saw a ball of fire in front of me,” İşleyici wrote of the incident. “My ears went deaf. Everywhere was bright white. Then I fell unconscious.”

When she came to, she found herself in a heap of bodies.

“My ears could not hear anything, but there were shredded organs and pieces of flesh on every hair of my head. I remember looking at my hands, and then fainting."