Prison sentences for DBP members in Aydın over Kobanê protests

More than six years after protests against the ISIS assault on Kobanê, 16 DBP members in the western Turkish city of Aydın have been sentenced to several years in prison on terror charges and other accusations such as "stone throwing."

Six and a half years after protests against Turkish support for the ISIS attack on Kobanê in Rojava, several members of the Democratic Regions Party (DBP) have been sentenced to several years in prison on terror charges in the western Turkish city of Aydın. The defendants are Şefik Şengel, Osman Yılmaz, Irfan Soncul, Çetin Turğut, Sinan Bayrak, Fesih Güngör, Sedat Ivdil, Şükrü Turgut, Cengiz Ivdil, Cevher Üçar, Kibar Boza, Ilhan Kaplan, Barış Onat, Cihan Acet, Cihan Çoban and Hamdullah Uzun, who were accused of taking part in the protests in September 2014. The 2nd Heavy Penal Court in Aydın on Friday deemed it proven that they had carried out activities "on behalf of a terrorist organization" and sentenced the DBP members to prison terms of three years, one month and 15 days each. Other prison sentences were handed down on the following charges;

-Resistance to state authority: 5 months (for Şefik Şengel and Sedat Ivdil).

-throwing stones: 18 months and 22 days (for Fesih Güngör, Cengiz İvdil, Irfan Soncul, Şükrü Turgut).

-Violation of the demonstration law: 5 months (for Şefik Şengel, Çetin Turğut, Sinan Bayrak, Sedat Ivdil, Cevher Üçar, Kibar Boza, Osman Yılmaz, Irfan Soncul, Fesih Güngör, Şükrü Turgut, Cengiz İvdil).

-Terrorist propaganda: 3 years and 4 months (for Kibar Boza).

The sentences are not yet final. The legal counsel for the victims has already announced that they will appeal to a regional appeals court.

Background to the Kobanê protests

On the evening of 6 October 2014, the terrorist Islamic State succeeded in penetrating Kobanê city center after 21 days of resistance carried out by the YPG / YPJ defense units and the population of Kobanê. In view of the critical situation, the HDP had called on the public to protest against the Turkish government for an indefinite period of time because it did not end its support for ISIS.

Street battles erupted in many cities between security forces and paramilitary organizations such as village guards and supporters of the radical Islamist Turkish-Kurdish Hezbollah and the demonstrators. The number of people killed, most of whom were people who joined the uprising, fluctuated between 46 (IHD) and 53. The government only speaks of 37 dead. According to a report by the human rights organization IHD, 682 people were injured in the protests. At least 323 people were arrested. In the course of the uprising, there were also arson attacks on shops and public facilities.

Trial to open in April

The Turkish government holds the HDP responsible for the incidents. In the so-called "Kobanê trial", 108 people are accused, including a number of HDP politicians, intellectuals and some members of the KCK leadership body. They are accused of "destroying the unity of the state and the entirety of the country", “murder” and “attempted murder”. The trial date in the Kobanê trial has been set for April 25. The trial will take place in the courthouse on the Sincan prison campus.