Despite expectations; Diyarbakir courts reject release of jailed deputies

18-12-2013 – Kurdpress – Two Diyarbakir courts refused to release five deputies of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), in contrast to a jailed main opposition MP who was granted his freedom last week, prompting the BDP to label the decision “political.”

The rulings on BDP deputies Ibrahim Ayhan, Selma Irmak, Faysal Sariyildiz, Gulser Yildirim, and Kemal Aktas, completely ignored the people’s will, the BDP said in a statement, a copy of which was sent to Kurdpress.

The statement further warned the decision would hinder the peace process.

“Our arrested deputies and all of our politicians should be immediately released, and an end should be given at once to this practice of ‘political hostage-taking,’” said Gultan Kisanak and Selahattin Demirtas, the BDP co-chairs.

BDP-affiliated Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) lawmaker Sirri Sureyya Onder, meanwhile, announced on his Twitter account that all four HDP deputies, including himself, would launch an indefinite hunger strike on Monday in Parliament in protest against the “discriminatory approach developed against arrested deputies.”

“This decision is not a legal one but is a political decision. A hostile manner has been openly adopted by the judiciary against our arrested deputies and politicians. This ruling is a legal scandal and [proof of a] double standard. Different laws are being applied in Istanbul and Diyarbakir. The refusal to release our deputies is an attempt to block the channels of politics; it ignores the democratic will of hundreds of thousands of people,” the BDP statement said.

“We call on the government to duty and to sincerity in the face of this political decision of the judiciary, which will not serve the resolution process and which even has the potential the block the process,” the BDP said.

The process is a government-led initiative aimed at ending the three-decade conflict between Turkey’s security forces and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in order to pave the way for a resolution of the century-old Kurdish issue.

The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), which celebrated the release of deputy Mustafa Balbay after more than four years in jail following a Constitutional Court ruling last week, joined the BDP in criticizing the court ruling. Calling the court “partial,” CHP Deputy Chair Sezgin Tanrikulu argued that the ruling has “once more harmed the will of Parliament and the people.” Hopes for the release of five BDP deputies had been heightened when main opposition CHP Izmir deputy Mustafa Balbay was freed on December 9 after the Constitutional Court ruled on December 4 that his pre-trial detention had violated his rights. Balbay pledged his oath in Parliament on December 10 after he was released pending appeal from nearly five years in prison in a coup plot case.