Turkish prosecutors have prepared an indictment against 108 people, including jailed former Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) co-chairs Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ, in connection with the 2014 Kobane protests.
The indictment was filed with the Ankara 22nd Heavy Penal Court following last week's ruling by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) that called for Demirtaş's immediate release. The ECHR said on Dec. 22 that Demirtaş's imprisonment was a cover for limiting pluralism and debate.
Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor's Office sought punishment for the 108 people, including 27 jailed, on various charges including 37 cases of homicide and disrupting the unity and territorial integrity of the state.
In early October, a Turkish court ordered the pre-trial detention of 17 people, including members of the HDP, in connection with the 2014 Kobane protests.
Protesters flooded streets in Turkey’s mainly Kurdish southeast in early October 2014, outraged over the Turkish government’s inaction in protecting Syrian Kurds as ISIS besieged Kobane, just across the Syrian border. The protests led to the deaths of 37 people, as members of Turkish Hizbullah also took to the streets. Ankara accuses the HDP of inciting violence
The recently launched investigation against the HDP members over Kobane protests is the latest in the government’s crackdown on the party. The HDP is often accused of having links with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and its former co-chairs Demirtaş and Yüksekdağ have been imprisoned for over four years.
Since March 2019 local elections, mayors have been replaced by trustees in more than half of the roughly 65 municipalities won by the HDP. Ankara has appointed governors and other local authorities as trustees in those districts.