Kurdish politician Kışanak kept in prison for seven years without sentence

In a parliamentary motion, pro-Kurdish deputy Meral Danış Beştaş has asked Justice Minister Yılmaz Tunç why jailed Kurdish politician Gültan Kışanak is still being kept in prison for seven years without being sentenced. Beştaş reminded that Kışanak completed the 7-year “maximum arrest period.”

Duvar English

Veteran Kurdish politician Gültan Kışanak on Oct. 25 marked her seven year in prison without being sentenced, who was arrested in 2016 on charges related to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

In a parliamentary question, opposition Peoples’ Equality and Democracy Party (HEDEP) deputy Meral Danış Beştaş asked Justice Minister Yılmaz Tunç why Kışanak is still being kept in prison without being sentenced despite completing the 7-year “maximum arrest period.”

“It is clear that Gültan Kışanak completed the maximum arrest period after Oct. 25, 2023. Why does the judiciary not issue a release decision on this matter? What is the explanation for the insistence on (not release) despite the Constitutional Court's decisions stating that a long arrest period is a violation of rights?,” Beştaş asked the minister.

Former co-mayor of the southeastern province of Diyarbakır, Gültan Kışanak, who has been in jail since her arrest in 2016, was sentenced in February 2019 to 14 years and three months in prison on charges of “being a member of” and “making propaganda” of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

However, an appeals court overturned the verdict in the same year, citing lack of procedure and principles during Kışanak’s trial, opening way for the retrial of her.