Former ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputy Galip Ensarioğlu is facing terrorism charges for attending the 2015 memorial service of a People's Protection Units (YPG) militant.
While the YPG is deemed a terrorist organization by Ankara due to it being the Syrian affiliate of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), the deputy said in a statement to the prosecutor's office that the militant was the child of one of his friends.
"Attending a funeral means that you find an organization or act legitimate, but I attended a memorial, not a funeral. Memorials are attended to give condolences to the family," the deputy said.
Ensarioğlu had stated back in 2016 that he had attended multiple memorial services for YPG militants, but that the organization hadn't yet been deemed a terrorist entity by the Turkish government back then.
"Back then, 2,700 [YPG] militia were treated in Urfa, Antep, Ankara. 3,500 tons of food was sent to Kobane, and the Peshmerga were sent to Kobane with weapons," the deputy said, noting that Ankara's stance against the organization had been very different then.
The deputy's memorial service attendance had been a topic of debate with main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader back in 2016, when the former also said that the deceased were children of his acquaintances.
The AKP deputy had also visited the governor's office of southeastern Diyarbakır with other AKP officials a day before he attended the funeral in question.