Charges filed against 108 defendants in "Kobanê trial”

108 HDP politicians are accused of terrorist crimes over the Kobanê protests of six years ago. Among them is Selahattin Demirtaş, who remains in custody despite an ECtHR ruling to the contrary.

The Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor's Office has submitted the indictment in the "Kobanê trial" to the responsible 22nd Criminal Chamber. 108 politicians are accused of terrorist crimes, including the former HDP co-chairs Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ, who are in custody along with 25 others. Six defendants from the trial are under supervision and 75 others are being sought. The European Court of Human Rights ordered the immediate release of Selahattin Demirtaş on December 22.

The indictment calls for the conviction of all 108 defendants for "destroying the unity of the state and the entirety of the country," and also accuses them of 37 counts of murder and dozens of attempted murders in connection with the Kobanê protests six years ago. According to the defense, the file remains classified and will be released if the court accepts the indictment.

Erdoğan gives advance notice of Demirtaş indictment

President and AKP leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan listed the charges against Demirtaş after a cabinet meeting on December 28: Alleged to be "the main perpetrator of the incidents of October 6-8, 2014," the HDP politician is held responsible for 37 murders, 29 attempted murders, 3777 cases of property damage, 395 thefts, 15 lootings, 308 times trespassing on business and residential premises, 13 times burning the Turkish flag, and bodily harm to 326 security forces and 435 citizens.

"Kobanê investigations" to date

Currently, 27 politicians are in prison as a result of the investigation conducted in Ankara in connection with the Kobanê protests in Turkey.

On September 20, 2019, arrest warrants were issued for former HDP leaders Figen Yüksekdağ and Selahattin Demirtaş, who have been in prison since November 2016 anyway.

On October 2, 2020, HDP politicians Alp Altınörs, Nazmi Gür, Emine Beyza Üstün, Emine Ayna, Ayla Akat Ata, Bircan Yorulmaz, Berfin Özgü Köse, Dilek Yağlı, Can Memiş, Günay Kubilay, Bülent Parmaksız, Pervin Oduncu, İsmail Şengün, Cihan Erdal, Zeki Çelik, Ali Ürküt and Ayhan Bilgen were arrested.

On October 12, 2020, another arrest warrant was issued for HDP Mayor Gültan Kışanak, who has also been in prison for four years.

Former HDP deputy Gülser Yildirim was sent to house arrest, while deposed HDP mayor Ahmet Türk was banned from traveling abroad.

On November 3, 2020, former BDP MP Ibrahim Binici and HDP Party Council members Mesut Bağcık and Ayşe Yağcı were arrested.

Kobanê protests

On the evening of October 6, 2014, after 21 days of resistance by the YPG/YPJ and the people, the terrorist militia "Islamic State" (IS) succeeded in penetrating the center of the northern Syrian city of Kobanê. In view of the critical situation, the HDP called on the people of Northern Kurdistan and Turkey to protest indefinitely against the AKP government, as it did not end its support for the IS. In the course of this, there were downright street battles between Turkish security forces and the protesters in many cities. Soldiers, policemen, village guards as well as members and supporters of the radical Islamist Turkish Hezbollah led a joint fight against Kurds who participated in the protests. The number of people killed, most of whom were participants in the uprising, fluctuated between 46 and 53. According to a report by the Human Rights Association (IHD), 682 people were injured during the protests. At least 323 people were arrested. In the course of the uprising, there were also arson attacks on stores and public facilities.