HDP politician jailed over Öcalan mural in Istanbul
The co-chair of the HDP association in Istanbul's Esenyurt district, Ercan Sağlam, has been jailed. The politician is accused of PKK membership. The background is a mural of Abdullah Öcalan in the premises of the building.
HDP politician Ercan Sağlam has been remanded in custody in Istanbul. The co-chair of the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) association in the Esenyurt district is accused of PKK membership. The basis of the accusation is a mural of Abdullah Öcalan in the local association's premises, photos of which had surfaced on online networks a week ago after the building was disinfected by local municipal personnel.
As a result, the association was stormed by police last week Saturday. During the raid, the door was broken down with a battering ram and the premises were searched for six hours. Police confiscated documents, books, pennants and flags. In addition to Sağlam, the female co-chair, Dilan Kılıç, was also detained. Both were released a day later, but were taken into custody again on Monday. They have been in police custody since then. While Sağlam was transferred to a prison after being questioned by the court today, the court released Kılıç on condition of judicial control and a ban on leaving the country.
Öcalan images not unconstitutional
Ercan Sağlam had sharply criticized the actions of the Turkish security authorities after his first arrest, calling them illegal. He said it was not the mural that was against the law, but the search of the HDP association, which had been carried out without a court order. According to rulings by the Turkish Constitutional Court, images with the PKK founder's likeness or slogans such as "Bijî Serok Apo" are not unconstitutional.