Urgent call for the hearing of the legal case against co-mayor of Diyarbakır Mr Adnan Selçuk Mızraklı:
Co-mayor of the Diyarbakır Mr Adnan Selçuk Mızraklı was unlawfully suspended from duty on 19 August 2019 and arrested on 22 October 2019. He has been held in Kayseri /Bünyan Prison since then. The second hearing of the case of Mr Mızraklı will be held on 10 February 2020 at 10:35 am at the Diyarbakır 9th Heavy Penal Court. Mr Mızraklı will attend the hearing through SEGBIS (Audio and Video Information System).
We are issuing this urgent call because the court has extraordinarily sped up the trial process to sentence Mr Mızraklı as early as possible. At the first hearing held on 25 November 2019, the court sent the file to the prosecutor's office for a legal opinion. The prosecution hastily prepared and submitted an opinion before the second hearing (scheduled for 10 February 2020). The opinion interestingly cites the membership of Mr Mızraklı to the Democratic Society Congress (DTK) and the Sarmaşık Association for Struggle against Poverty as evidence of “terrorism.” These two organizations were among the biggest NGOs in the Kurdish region. While Sarmaşık was banned by a government decree under emergency rule, DTK is still active with its headquarters in Diyarbakir. DTK representatives were even officially invited to the Turkish parliament to express their views on a new Constitution.
It is extremely unusual even for a biased Turkish court to ask for the legal opinion of the prosecution at the first hearing. Equally unusual is the “super-efficiency” of the prosecution in preparing and submitting the opinion so fast. And these are happening even before Mr Mizrakli has finished his defense. The Court is obviously trying to sentence Mr Mızraklı as early as possible to justify the removal and arrest of Kurdish mayors – a decision widely criticized in Turkey and abroad. In other words, the court will provide a legal cover (justification) for the government’s decision to remove and arrest Kurdish mayors.
We would like to invite you to observe this crucial hearing of this sped-up case against an elected Kurdish mayor, which demonstrates the current state of the justice system, political freedoms, and local democracy in Turkey.
HDP Vice Co-chair
Member of Parliament
3 February 2020