Indictment against DBP's Tuncel ready: 135 year sentence demanded

The indictment against DBP Co-chair Sebahat Tuncel is ready. The prosecutor demands a 135 year prison sentence for Tuncel.

The indictment prepared by the Diyarbakır Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office that demands a 135 year prison sentence for Democratic Regions Party (DBP) Co-chair Sebahat Tuncel, imprisoned in Silivri Prison since November 6, has been accepted by the Diyarbakır High Criminal Court No.8. Tuncel is charged with “membership to a terrorist organization” and “terrorist propaganda” for 16 demonstrations and events she attended between 2012 and 2016, her comments in DBP caucuses and her attendance to Democratic Society Congress (DTK) meetings.

The date for the first hearing will be determined in the coming days. 86 pages out of the 126 page long indictment prepared by the prosecutor’s office explains “history of PKK, KCK contract, DTK founding and operations”. Some 30 pages of the indictment is the protests and events Tuncel attended and her comments on current events and problems in the country. The indictment as a whole doesn’t mention that Tuncel is DBP’s co-chair, and significantly mentions Tuncel as a “DTK member”. The DTK inquiry including Tuncel had been launched in 2011 and ended in 2012, and some prosecutors and the judges who ordered technical surveillance have been expelled from duty and arrested in the “FETÖ” inquiry.

The remaining half-page of “Legal Assessment” section of the indictment calls the DTK “illegal” and has the following on Tuncel: “actively attending efforts aimed towards the founding of an ‘Autonomous Kurdistan’ as a DTK member under orders from PKK/KCK, visiting Diyarbakır Metropolitan Municipality Guest House that is used as the DTK headquarters several times and attending meetings there” The prosecutor mentions Tuncel calling the surrounding of Sur, Cizre, Şırnak, Nusaybin and Yüksekova by the soldiers and the police a “blockade”, the deaths in these places “massacres” and the dead “martyrs”. The prosecutor also claims that through these words, Tuncel supports and protects “acts of digging ditches, laying trapped bombs, attacks on security forces with firearms and rockets”.


Şivan Cemil Özen, one of Tuncel’s lawyers, assessed the indictment and said 86 out of 126 pages of the indictment discussing PKK’s history and the KCK contract is to “inflate” the indictment. Özen pointed out that the indictment was trying to create the perception in the court that Tuncel was guilty. Özen said only 3 paragraphs on half a page of the 126 pages made a legal assessment of his client and said: “When we look at the legal assessment section of the indictment from a legal perspective, we can see what perceptions have shaped the indictment.” Özen emphasized that Tuncel’s statements and comments did not include praise or support for violence, and underlined that the statements in question were all “political activity that is required by democratic politics”. Özen said that after the court writes the preliminary proceedings report, they will file necessary appeals for their client to be released.