Kobanê Trial: The court acts politically, not lawfully

According to the politicians in the Kobanê Trial, the court is attempting to make political choices rather than legal ones.

The "Kobanê trial" against 108 defendants continues in Ankara after a two-day break because of the presiding judge being in quarantine following contact with a Corona-infected person. The subject of the trial is the protests in Turkey at the time of the ISIS attack on Kobanê in October 2014. The defendants include the entire executive board of the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) at the time, including the former co-chairs Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ. Twenty of the defendants are in prison.

The 108 defendants standing trial at the hearing, which is being held at the Ankara 22nd Heavy Penal Court in Sincan Prison Campus Trial Hall, are facing a total of 38 aggravated life sentences and 19,680 years in prison for 29 different offences.

While the politicians incarcerated in Sincan Prison are present in the hall, Selahattin Demirtaş did not attend the hearing, citing reasons. Figen Yüksekdağ as well as deposed co-mayor of Amed Metropolitan Municipality, Gültan Kışanak and former MP Gülser Yıldırım, are among the defendants attending the hearing via video conferencing system SEGBIS from prison.


In the meantime, it came out that the president of Ankara's 22nd Heavy Penal Court, which handles the case, tested positive for coronavirus.

While the defendants in the hall, as well as those linked via SEGBIS, stated that they did not want to make a defence, the prosecution requested that detention be continued based on the present condition of the case file and the flight risk of the suspects.

Attorney Maviş Aydın indicated that their presence in the court hall was symbolic, stating that the hearing could not be held since everyone in the courtroom was in contact due to the president of the court's positive test.

"All our clients should be freed whether their defence is accepted or not," said attorney Kenan Maçoğlu.

Speaking after, defendant Nazmi Gür said, "If you genuinely wish to lead Turkey to a climate of spring on the way to winter, it will be a small step for your court but a big one for Turkey."


Günay Kubilay stated that he was serving a member of the HDP Central Executive Board in the 6-8 October period, adding, “The ECtHR judgement on Demirtaş stated that the HDP’s call did not contain violence. The nonrecognition of this verdict by your delegation is not a legal but a political decision.”

Alp Altınörs, another member of HDP Central Executive Board, stated, "Let the ECtHR decision be implemented. It is a legally dead  and politically outdated case.”

The hearing continues with the politicians' statements.