EP Turkey rapporteur slams Ankara over jail sentence of opposition deputy

The European Parliament's (EP) Turkey rapporteur Nacho Sanchez Amor on Friday criticised Ankara over a prison sentence handed down to opposition deputy Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu.

The verdict against pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputy Gergerlioğlu jars with the positive EU agenda the Turkish government promised, Amor said on Twitter.

 

On Thursday, Turkey’s Court of Cassation approved a two year, six month prison sentence for Gergerlioğlu on charges of terrorist propaganda.

Gergerlioğlu, a human rights defender and a doctor by profession, was accused of sharing on social media an article, which cited Murat Karayılan, the second highest-ranking member of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

The article said that the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) was ready to take steps for peace, if the rest of the country was.

Meanwhile, former Turkey rapporteur of the EP, Kati Piri also criticized the verdict against Gergerlioğlu in a tweet. Piri blamed Turkey for using the judiciary as an instrument of oppression.

Gergerlioğlu told pro-Kurdish Mezopotamya Agency that the court’s decision was politically motivated.

The HDP on Saturday issued a statement to denounce the court’s decision.

"We declare once again that we will not give up our struggle for peace and justice despite the anti-human rights and anti-democracy government. Gergerlioğlu is not alone," pro-Kurdish Fırat news agency cited the HDP as saying.