Turkish court refuses to hear expelled pro-Kurdish MP’s appeal

Gergerlioglu now plans to file an appeal with the European Court of Human Rights after Constitutional Court’s decision.

Parliament this month stripped HDP parliamentarian Omer Faruk Gergerlioglu of his seat [Adem Altan/AFP]

Turkey’s top court has refused to hear an appeal by a leading pro-Kurdish politician against his expulsion from parliament over “terrorism” charges linked to a social media post.

Parliament this month stripped Omer Faruk Gergerlioglu of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) of his seat after he was convicted of “spreading terrorism propaganda” on social media.

The offending post, which could see him jailed for two and a half years, featured an article in which outlawed Kurdish fighters who have been waging a deadly decades-long rebellion in Turkey called on the government to take steps towards peace.

The Constitutional Court on Wednesday said it did not have the competence to rule on Gergerlioglu’s appeal, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

Gergerlioglu, who frequently speaks out over human rights issues in Turkey, tweeted that he now intends to file an appeal with the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg.

Turkey’s top court is also due to decide on Wednesday whether to accept an indictment to ban the HDP over its alleged links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

The Turkish government says the HDP – the third-largest party in the parliament – is the political front for the PKK. The HDP denies the claim.

The PKK is blacklisted as a “terrorist” organisation by Ankara and its Western allies, and has fought against the Turkish state since 1984.

A top prosecutor this month put an indictment before the Constitutional Court with a goal to dissolve the HDP and ban 687 party members from engaging in politics for five years.

The attempt to ban the party hit a legal snag on Tuesday when a special court rapporteur concluded that the prosecutor’s case had “deficiencies” relating to the identities and roles of some of the defendants.

The court now has the option to either send back the indictment for further work or to accept it and allow the prosecutor to amend his file during the trial, according to Turkish media.

Source: News Agencies