Turkish court fines pro-gov't journo for labelling pro-Kurdish MPs 'terrorists’

An Ankara court has handed down a judicial fine to a pro-government journalist in over his reference to two lawmakers from the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) as “terrorists,” Diken news site reported on Monday.

Cem Küçük, a columnist with pro-government Türkiye newspaper, was given a fine of 6,620 liras ($370) over his labelling of HDP deputies Hüda Kaya and Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu as “terrorists lawmakers” during a TV programme in February of 2020, according to Diken.

The Turkish government accuses the HDP of harbouring sympathies for and acting in the interest of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), designated a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union. The HDP denies the charges.

The government of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in recent years has intensifıed a crackdown on the group. Since 2019, 48 of the 65 elected HDP mayors in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish eastern and southeastern regions have been removed from office by the Interior Ministry, citing "terror" investigations'' and hundreds of party members have been jailed on terror charges, including former co-chairs Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ.

“Hüda Kaya and Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu, these two are terrorists, one wears a tie and the other a headscarf. They are welcome to take legal action against me, these two are terrorist lawmakers,” Küçük said regarding the two lawmakers.

Kaya and Gergerlioğlu file a criminal complaint over the journalists remarks in February 2021.

The Ankara court found Küçük guilty of having “insulted” the lawmakers and threatened to “damage their reputation as civil servants,” Diken said. 

This block is broken or missing. You may be missing content or you might need to enable the original module.