Former pro-Kurdish deputies face prison

A Turkish court in the southeastern city of Şırnak on Monday sentenced former pro-Kurdish party deputies Osman Baydemir and Leyla Birlik to 18 months in prison, Turkey-based Kurdish Mezopotamya News Agency reported.

Birlik and Baydemir, former deputies of the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), were found guilty for "violating the law on meetings and demonstrations", Mezopotamya said.

The two politicians attended public protests in 2015 when the authorities declared military curfews in the eastern and southeastern cities of Turkey.

During the two-year-long curfews, the Turkish army conducted military operations in mostly Kurdish-populated southeastern provinces against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), an armed group that has fought for Kurdish self-rule in Turkey for decades.

Last week, Sırrı Süreyya Önder, a former HDP deputy entered prison over terrorism charges, after a Turkish court approved his three-year-and-six-month sentence on Dec. 4.

Turkey has charged many top HDP politicians with membership in a terrorist organisation, based on alleged links to the PKK.

HDP politicians behind bars include Selahattin Demirtaş, a former HDP co-chair who ran as the party’s presidential candidate from his jail cell this year.