Turkey: Opposition MPs face terror probe, charges

Turkey: Opposition MPs face terror probe, charges

Peoples' Democratic Party deputies spread terrorist propaganda at congress and before, say Ankara prosecutors

By Zafer Fatih Beyaz and Tanju Ozkaya

ANKARA (AA) - Two Turkish opposition deputies are facing legal scrutiny and charges over allegedly using terrorist propaganda during their weekend party congress and before.

Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) leader Pervin Buldan has been indicted for being a member of the terrorist PKK and could face five to 10 years in prison.

Citing her speeches, the indictment by Ahmet Akca, deputy public prosecutor in the capital Ankara, said that Buldan is following the PKK’s instructions and is spreading propaganda for the terrorist group, including a televised 2015 interview where she claimed that the PKK is not a terrorist group.

More than 1,200 people, including security force personnel and civilians, have lost their lives since the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S., and EU -- resumed its decades-old armed campaign in July 2015.

HDP lawmaker Sirri Sureyya Onder also faces an investigation on allegations of spreading terrorist propaganda, provoking public hatred and hostility, and praising crime and criminals at the party’s third ordinary congress on Sunday, according to judicial sources.

During the congress, posters could be seen showing Abdullah Ocalan, the jailed head of the terrorist PKK, while both Buldan and Onder accused Turkish forces of killing civilians during Operation Olive Branch and also allegedly spread PKK propaganda during their speeches.

On Jan. 20, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch to clear the PYD-YPG/PKK -- the Syrian offshoot of the PKK -- and Daesh terrorists from Afrin in northwestern Syria.

According to the Turkish General Staff, the operation aims to establish security and stability along Turkey’s borders and the region as well as protect Syrians from terrorist oppression and cruelty.

The operation is being carried out under the framework of Turkey's rights based on international law, UN Security Council resolutions, its self-defense rights under the UN charter, and respect for Syria's territorial integrity, it said.

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