21-year sentences in Turkish terror-related trial

A court sentenced 111 members of an umbrella group that includes the PKK/KCK to sentences of up to 21 years on Tuesday.

The case against the KCK defendants began in 2010. Initially, 191 defendants were accused of offences ranging from terrorism to holding banned protests, according to Anadolu Agency.

A lower court dismissed the charges against 43 before the trial while a further 37, including eight current lawmakers from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), were released during the hearings.

Most of those convicted were found guilty of membership of a terrorist organization by Diyarbakir’s 2nd High Criminal Court in southeast Turkey.

Among those jailed for 21 years was the co-chairman of the Democratic Regions Party (DBP), the regional-level sister party of the HDP. Kamuran Yuksek was convicted of controlling an armed terrorist group.

Hatip Dicle, former lawmaker from the now-defunct Democracy Party, was sentenced to nine years for membership of armed terrorist organization.

Ahmet Turk, the former BDP mayor of Mardin in southeast Turkey, was jailed for 15 months for staging a demonstration without permission.

Of the remaining defendants, 16 were sentenced to 21 years.

Ankara has accused the HDP -- the third largest party in parliament -- and the DBP of ties to the PKK, which is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and EU.

It has fought a three-decade-long war against Turkey. During the most recent phase since July 2015, more than 1,200 people, including security force personnel and civilians, have lost their lives.


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