Acemoğlu writes message of support for jailed HDP Şişli co-chair
World-renowned economist Daron Acemoğlu has shared a message of support and solidarity for his high school friend Mutlu Öztürk, the HDP's Şişli district branch co-chair. Along with other eight party officials, Öztürk has been held in pre-trial detention at Silivri Prison since Oct. 14, 2019.
World-renowned economist Daron Acemoğlu has expressed his wish that his high school friend Mutlu Öztürk, an official of the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), is released from prison “in the earliest time.”
Öztürk, the HDP's Şişli district branch co-chair, was among the nine party officials who were detained on Oct. 13, 2019 for their attempts to stage a demonstration in Istanbul's Beşiktaş district to mark the seventh anniversary of the HDP's founding.
On Oct. 14, 2019, a court ordered their arrest on charges of "spreading terror propaganda.”
Slogans of “No to war; peace right now” chanted by the HDP officials were considered “terrorist propaganda” by the Turkish court.
For over four months now, Öztürk has been held in pre-trial detention at the Silivri Prison near Istanbul. The trial's first hearing is set to take place on Feb. 21 at Istanbul's Çağlayan courthouse.
Öztürk has worked as a history teacher in many high schools across Istanbul for more than twenty years. His students, colleagues and friends have created a webpage to show solidarity during his period of pre-trial detention: mutluhocayaozgurluk.com/english.
Hundreds of people wrote messages of support on the webpage, calling on authorities to release Öztürk as soon as possible. One of those people was the Turkish-American economist Acemoğlu. The two attended Istanbul's Galatasaray High School together.
“I wish that my dear high school friend Mutlu Öztürk attains justice and freedom in the earliest time,” wrote Acemoğlu on the “Open Letters to Teacher Mutlu” section of the webpage.