Hearing for Kışanak and Tuncel; prosecutors asking for lengthy sentences

Gültan Kışanak (left) and Sabahat Tunce (Firat News Agency)

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 SULAIMANI — Amed [Diyarbakir] Municipality co-mayor Gültan Kışanak and Democratic Regions' Party (DBP) co-chair Sabahat Tuncel have been in court for the ninth hearing of their trial.

The prosecutor asked prison sentences for Kışanak on the ground of "establishing and directing the organisation" and for Tuncel for "membership in the organisation,” according to Firat News Agency.

Specifically, the charges are related to alleged activities in support of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Democratic Society Congress (DTK)

The Diyarbakir Public Prosecutor Office is in charge of the case against Kışanak, who was detained in October 2016, after the Turkish government appointed a trustee to replace her and her co-mayor.

Tuncel was arrested in November 2016.

The trial is being held at Malatya Heavy Penal Court No. 1. The Prosecutor has asked for 230 years prison sentence for Kışanak and 145 years for Tuncel. The charges leveled at the pair are "establishing and managing an organisation," "participating at non-authorized meetings and marches" and "making propaganda for the organisation."

The DBP works in coordination with the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), but works at the local and regional level. Both are longtime activists working with a variety of pro-Kurdish groups.

In 2014, Kışanak was elected first female mayor of Diyarbakir.

Tuncel was charged with membership in the PKK in 2006 and jailed until 2007. While incarcerated she was elected to the Turkish parliament and becoming the youngest women to serve in the legislature and the first person in Turkish history elected from jail.

The two Kurdish politicians' lawyers attended the hearing of behalf of their clients.

The trial was adjourned to October 8, 2018.