Electoral body rejects AKP's objection to Gergerlioğlu’s deputyship

Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu, who has been elected as a Kocaeli parliamentarian from the Green Left Party, announced that the Supreme Election Council (YSK) turned down the ruling AKP’s objection against his deputyship.

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Ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has objected to Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu’s deputyship, citing the jail term given to him in 2018. Gergerlioğlu on May 18 announced that the Supreme Election Council (YSK) rejected the AKP’s objection.

In a petition filed to the Kocaeli Provincial Election Board on behalf of the AKP, lawyer Emre Arık argued that Gergerlioğlu’s 2.5-year-long jail term from 2018 poses a restriction for him to be chosen as a parliamentarian.

“Although Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu does not have the qualification to be chosen, he was nominated as a candidate and his nomination was finalized by the oversight of judiciary organs,” the petition read. 

Gergerlioğlu recalled that the Constitutional Court in 2021 ruled that his rights were violated, opening the way for his release from prison and restoration of his parliamentary status.

“By stripping me of my deputyship, they put me in prison. I have gotten out, have been reelected and this is still not enough. They are again trying to trample on people’s will again,” he said. “Despite the decision of violation by the Constitutional Court, AKP officials are trying to convince the Supreme Election Council and manipulate the judiciary.”  

Gergerlioğlu also said that the YSK turned down the AKP’s demand. “I am sending 1 package of soda to the AKP headquarters and Kocaeli provincial office, let their indigestion pass away. The oppressors will lose and people will win,” he said.

Gergerlioğlu, also a human rights defender, was sentenced to prison in 2018 for "making terrorism propaganda" by sharing a news article on the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) on Twitter. 

The politically motivated charges led to him being stripped of his parliamentary status in March 2021 despite the lack of a final ruling from the Constitutional Court.

After three months in jail, the Constitutional Court ruled that Gergerlioğlu's rights were violated with his imprisonment on terrorism charges, ruling for his release and restoration of his parliamentary status.