Verdict of Kobanê Trial expected today

The Kobanê Trial is expected to be concluded today with the pronunciation of the verdict.


After the postponement of the final hearing, the Kobanê Trial is expected to be concluded today with the pronunciation of the verdict.

Ten years after the ISIS attack on Kobanê, the former HDP board is on trial because of a tweet. After three years of hearings, a total of 108 personalities from politics, civil society and the Kurdish liberation movement were indicted, including the entire former board of the DEM's predecessor party, HDP.

They are accused of “incitement to insurrection” and “splitting the unity and integrity of the country” in connection with protests between 6 and 8 October 2014 against the attack on Kobanê by the terrorist organization Islamic State. The indictment is based on a Twitter message posted by the HDP on 6 October 2014 calling for democratic protests in solidarity with the people of Kobanê. The public prosecutor's office is calling for aggravated life sentences with no chance of release.

“ISIS was stopped in Kobanê”

“ISIS and the forces behind it have committed major crimes against humanity and continue to pose a major threat to humanity,” said the DEM board in the statement on the trial.

After President Erdoğan predicted the conquest of Kobanê by ISIS (“Kobanê has fallen, it will fall”), the protests were attacked by paramilitaries and law enforcement: "The peaceful protests around the world were overshadowed by the massacres in Turkey. According to the Human Rights Association (IHD), 46 civilians were killed during the Kobanê protests, while according to the General Directorate of Security, the civilians killed were 48. Dozens of HDP parliamentary motions to investigate the deaths and find those responsible for these incidents were rejected by the votes of the AKP and MHP. In 2020, six years later, a show trial was initiated under the pretext of a tweet because of which HDP members were held responsible for the deaths."

Call by civil society and politicians

159 personalities, including academics, writers, MPs and lawyers, published a joint statement on the Kobanê Trial. They wrote that "the verdict in the Kobanê Trial will be an indicator of whether the government will respect the principle of an independent judiciary or not, both in domestic and foreign public opinion in favour of peace and democracy. Because this case is a key point in cases where the judiciary is used as a political tool, as in the Gezi Trial. In this respect, it is of critical importance not only for the DEM Party and the people of the region, but also for the future of our country."

The call underlined that "the verdict in the Kobanê case should be a signal that the lawlessness in the country will end, and the judiciary will regain its independence. Kobanê and similar collusive cases must be finalised in accordance with the requirements of the law. All politically motivated victimisation in the field of law, especially the convictions in the Gezi Trial, which are not based on any objective evidence, must be eliminated."

The call also said that "Kobane detainees must be released immediately, in accordance with the judgements of the ECtHR, which are binding on all organs of state parties, and the decision of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, which is responsible for implementation, for the release of Demirtaş and other detainees without delay. It is an obligation of membership of the Council of Europe that the government and the judiciary take into account the decision of the Committee of Ministers."

The call said that "recent political developments have shown that the politics of tension, injustice and lawlessness do not provide peace and confidence to society and do not gain approval from the masses. We hope and expect that the verdict of the Kobanê Trial will be instrumental in the construction of the rule of law and social peace."

In custody for over seven years

18 of the defendants are in prison, some of them for over seven years. The arrested defendants are former HDP leaders 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 Şeng ül , Meryem Adıbelli, Nazmi Gür, Pervin Oduncu, Zeynep Karaman, Aynur Aşan and Zeynep Ölbeci.