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The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Pro-Kurdish MP detained after four-day protest in Turkey’s parliament

Gergerlioglu was handed a two-and-a-half-year prison sentence for spreading "terrorist propaganda" online. [Getty]

Date of publication: 21 March, 2021

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Omer Faruk Gergerlioglu was in pyjamas and slippers when he was taken away just before morning prayers.
Pro-Kurdish lawmaker Omer Faruk Gergerlioglu was detained early on Sunday by Turkish police after he staged a protest over the stripping of his MP status.

The member of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) was taken from its headquarters in the parliament after he camped overnight for four days in dissent.

Gergerlioglu was in pyjamas and slippers when he was taken away just before morning prayers, the HDP said.

The parliament had revoked the seat of Gergerlioglu on Wednesday, an outspoken rights defender, and his accompanying immunity from prosecution after a court upheld a controversial conviction over a social media post.

Gergerlioglu was handed a two-and-a-half-year prison sentence for spreading "terrorist propaganda" online.

Gergerlioglu has rejected the accusations, and his expulsion from parliament was criticised by numerous campaign groups and Western governments.

Read also: Turkey detains dozens of pro-Kurdish party officials

This comes as the party faces increasing hostility from Ankara, with the top public prosecutor setting out to shut it down after supposed ties with Kurdish fighters of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

The 609-page indictment put before the Constitutional Court accuses the HDP of being a threat to the "indivisible integrity of the state" and seeks to ban over 600 party members from engaging in politics for five years, claims which the Kurdish party denies.

The PKK has been waging an insurgency since 1984 that has killed tens of thousands and is listed as a terrorist organisation by Ankara and its Western allies.

The HDP has seen dozens of its mayors dismissed over alleged terror links.

Western powers have universally condemned the bid to shut down the HDP. The country's highest court is due to rule on the case in the coming weeks.

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