Turkish court refuses to lift int’l travel ban imposed on deputy parliament speaker Önder

An Ankara court has refused to lift the international travel ban imposed on DEM Party lawmaker and deputy parliament speaker Sırrı Süreyya Önder. The court also refused Önder's request for a stay of proceedings in the Kobane case despite he has parliamentary immunity.

Duvar English

Ankara 22nd High Criminal Court has refused to issue a stay of proceedings for Peoples’ Equality and Democracy (DEM) Party lawmaker and deputy parliament speaker Sırrı Süreyya Önder in the Kobane case.

Önder was elected as lawmaker in the 2023 general elections and has a parliamentary immunity.

The court also refused to lift the international travel ban imposed on Önder as part of the Kobane case by a majority vote. The court reminded a previous decision, which ruled that Önder can go abroad “within the scope of parliamentary work,” online news outlet Medyascope reported.

Önder previously stated at the Parliament that 15 lawmakers and himself were banned from traveling abroad despite having parliamentary immunity.

Responding to a proposal to form a parliamentary delegation to visit Palestine, Önder said, “15 deputies of our (parliamentary) group would not be able to participate in this visit due to the letter written by a bureaucrat in the Interior Ministry, not due to a court decision. Not only are their passports restricted, but also the passports of their children, spouses, and first-degree relatives are restricted.”

Önder is accused of “membership of an armed terrorist organization and disrupting the unity of the state and the integrity of the country” in the Kobane case.

The Kobane case

The Kobane protests took place between Oct. 6 and 8, 2014 and caused the deaths of dozens. Protesters flooded streets in Turkey's mainly Kurdish southeast at the time, outraged over the Turkish government's inaction in protecting Syrian Kurds as ISIS besieged Kobane, just across the Syrian border. 

The prosecutor’s indictment regarding the Kobane case is accusing 108 defendants, 17 of whom are jailed, of several crimes, including the murders of 37 people and “disrupting the unity and integrity of the state.” Among the defendants are former HDP politicians charged for allegedly organizing and inciting the violence despite not being involved with carrying out violent acts.