Turkish police detain expelled pro-Kurdish MP: son

Turkish police detain expelled pro-Kurdish MP: son
Omer Faruk Gergerlioglu has been detained by Turkish police, following his expulsion for parliament.
2 min read
Omer Faruk Gergerlioglu has been outspoken on humans rights issues [Getty]
Turkish police on Friday detained a pro-Kurdish politician two weeks after his expulsion from parliament over terror charges linked to a social media post, his son said.

Omer Faruk Gergerlioglu, 55, is a leading human rights advocate who has shone a light on controversial topics including torture and prison strip searches. 

He was an MP for the pro-Kurdish leftist Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), Turkey's second-largest opposition group, until his seat was revoked on 17 March.

Gergerlioglu's son, Salih, tweeted: "They have come to arrest my father" at his home in Ankara.

"They did not let him put his shoes on before they forced him out," Salih added in another tweet.

The police issued no immediate comment.

The top appeals court in February upheld Gergerlioglu's 2018 conviction for "spreading terrorism propaganda" over a post he shared in 2016 before he was elected an MP in the northwestern province of Kocaeli.

He was sentenced to two years and six months in prison.

Gergerlioglu was convicted after he shared and commented on a story which reported on outlawed Kurdish militants calling on the Turkish state to take a step towards peace.

The parliament then stripped him of his immunity and his seat in a move condemned by rights groups.

He applied to the Constitutional Court to cancel the decision but the body rejected the application this week, claiming a lack of jurisdiction on the issue.

The Constitutional Court on Wednesday delayed putting the HDP on trial over alleged links to Kurdish militants.

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It said the case put before the court by the top public prosecutor seeking to dissolve the party had "procedural shortcomings" and sent the file back for revision.

The HDP has faced multiple crackdowns since 2016 with thousands of its members detained and provincial and city mayors replaced by government-appointed trustees.

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