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Prosecution Requests 38.5 Year Sentence for HDP MP Altan Tan

According to a report in Cumhuriyet daily, prosecutors have requested a sentence of up to 38.5 years for HDP Diyarbakır MP Altan Tan for five separate charges. In the past few months, the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) MP for Diyarbakır was arrested then released on his own recognizance, with required check-ins with police, for trial.  Tan has been charged with five separate crimes, which, together, carry a sentence up to 38 and a half years.

The 304-page indictment prepared against Tan by the Diyarbakır Chief Prosecutor was accepted by the 5th Criminal Court. The indictment reminded the court that a request for the removal of Tan’s parliamentary immunity had been sent to the Ministry of Justice.

According to the indictment, Tan has behaved in accordance with the ideologies of founders the Democratic Society Congress (DTK) and the PKK. It also alleges that Tan has defended acts of terror carried out by the PKK. The indictment claims that the defendant, who is a member of parliament, has carried out criminal activities under the guise of normal political actions and argues that his actions need to be seen in a more general way as part of the hierarchical organization of a terrorist group, an argument used to justify an accusation that Tan is a member of a terrorist organization.

The indictment notes that Tan attended the 2012 Nowruz celebration banned by the Diyarbakır governorship, which it suggests was planned at the request and according to the instructions of the PKK, for whom, the indictment continues, it became a propaganda action and show of force. The indictment says that Tan joined the front of a group walking toward the area where the celebrations were to be held, and, upon reaching a police barricade, attempted to cross it, and punched a police officer who asked what the group was doing.  

The indictment included additional claims, including:

“Tan, while attempting to assault a member of the security forces, insulted a police chief, saying, ‘Show me your badge, you arrogant jerk! Who gave you this authority? Shameless man. Are you going to teach me how to love my country? What a rude person.’ He used his MP status as a shield to prevent security forces from doing their jobs, incited the crowd, forcibly closed a road to traffic by linking arms with other MPs and walking toward the Nowruz celebration area, and made victory signs with his hands in a way that could be interpreted as terrorist propaganda. It was noted that he also saluted the demonstrators and applauded.” Based on these charges, the prosecutor has requested a sentence of between 17.5 and 38.5 years for HDP Deputy Tan.

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