HDP Activists in Mersin Face PKK Membership Charges Based on Kurdish Music Evidence, Turkey


Updated: 1:45 PM, Sun November 05, 2023

Eleven activists from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) in Mersin, Turkey, are now facing charges of PKK membership, with Kurdish music being used as evidence against them. The Mersin Public Prosecutor’s Office has officially accepted the indictment, but a trial date has yet to be set.

The accused individuals, all of Kurdish descent and involved in local politics, include a former co-chair of the HDP district association and six male activists from the party’s youth council. Seven of them have been in custody since May 2021 based on suspicions of belonging to a terrorist organization, namely the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

According to the public prosecutor’s office, there are several pieces of evidence supporting the alleged PKK connections of the defendants. This includes sharing invitations to an HDP youth conference on social media platforms, statements to Kurdish press regarding the isolation of Abdullah Öcalan, and attendance at HDP cultural and political events, as well as funerals of political prisoners. Additionally, one activist is accused of showing his ideological connection to the PKK by listening to Kurdish-language music in his car.

Furthermore, the indictment presents more Kurdish songs as evidence against the activists, suggesting that these songs were listened to in private homes and public spaces like cafes. It appears that the young activists were unlawfully wiretapped by the police for several months. Additionally, the public prosecutor’s office claims that a disabled activist in a wheelchair, in 2016, was involved in illegal lettering on house facades.

The charges and evidence presented highlight the ongoing tensions between the Turkish government and the HDP, with the latter being accused of having ties to the PKK, considered a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States, and the European Union. The HDP, on the other hand, denies these allegations and contends that it is being targeted for political reasons.

This case exemplifies the challenges faced by Kurdish politicians and activists in Turkey, where political activities, statements, and even cultural expressions can be interpreted as evidence of terrorism-related offenses. As legal proceedings move forward, it remains to be seen how the court will evaluate the evidence and whether the trial will be conducted fairly. The case has drawn international attention, with human rights organizations monitoring the proceedings closely.

The HDP has been a vocal advocate for Kurdish rights and has faced numerous investigations, arrests, and legal challenges in recent years. Critics argue that these actions against HDP members are part of a broader crackdown on Kurdish political representation in Turkey. However, government officials maintain that they are acting within the boundaries of the law to combat terrorism and protect national security.

As this case unfolds, it will undoubtedly continue to fuel debates about freedom of expression, political participation, and the limits of state power in Turkey. The outcome will have implications not only for the individuals involved but also for the broader Kurdish community and the state of democracy in the country.

In summary, eleven HDP activists in Mersin are facing PKK membership charges, with Kurdish music being used as evidence against them. The case raises concerns about political repression and the limits of freedom of expression in Turkey. The trial is yet to commence, and international observers are closely monitoring the proceedings. The outcome of this case will have significant implications for Kurdish political representation and the Turkish government’s approach to counterterrorism measures.

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Siddharth Mehta
Siddharth Mehta
Siddharth Mehta is a dedicated author at The Reportify who covers the intricate world of politics. With a deep interest in current affairs and political dynamics, Siddharth provides insightful analysis, updates, and perspectives in the Politics category. He can be reached at siddharth@thereportify.com for any inquiries or further information.

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