18 politicians on trial in Kobanê Case to remain in prison

During today's hearing of the Kobanê Case, the Court decided to continue the detention of 18 imprisoned politicians.

The verdict in the Kobanê Case, which was expected to be announced today, has been postponed.

Today's hearing of the lawsuit filed against 108 politicians, including former Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) Co-Chairs Figen Yüksekdağ and Selahattin Demirtaş and members of the party's Central Executive Committee (MYK), 18 of whom are under arrest, was not attended by thirteen of the imprisoned politicians.

The court announced its decision on the detention review and rejected the requests for lifting judicial control measures on the grounds of "suspicion of flight". The court rejected the demand of Demirtaş defence lawyers regarding the unconstitutionality of Article 220/5 of the Turkish Penal Code and decided to continue detention of the imprisoned politicians.

The hearing was adjourned to 16 May for the final statements and verdict.


A total of 108 personalities from politics, civil society and the Kurdish freedom movement are accused in the mammoth trial, including the entire former executive committee of DEM's predecessor party, the HDP. They are accused of murder in dozens of cases as well as "incitement to insurrection" and "dividing the unity and integrity of the country" in connection with protests between 6 and 8 October 2014 against the ISIS attack on Kobanê. The charge is based on a Twitter message posted by the HDP on 6 October 2014. The message called for democratic protests in solidarity with the people of Kobanê in northern Syria. The Public Prosecutor General's Office is demanding aggravated life imprisonment with no prospect of release.

Many of the defendants have been in prison since November 2016. The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) categorises their arrest as politically motivated and has ordered their release several times. The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe also called for the release of the former HDP MPs in March. Turkey is ignoring these decisions.

The defendants in prison are the former HDP co-chairs Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ, as well as Gültan Kışanak, Sebahat Tuncel, Alp Altınörs, Ayka Akat Ata, Ali Ürküt, Ayşe Yağcı, Bülent Barmaksız, Dilek Yağcı, Günay Kubilay, İsmail Şengül, Meryem Adıbelli, Nazmi Gür, Pervin Oduncu, Zeynep Karaman, Aynur Aşan and Zeynep Ölbeci.