Selim Sadak, former Siirt mayor, was arrested on charges of “propaganda of a terrorist organization” during his speech at a pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party rally, Hurriyet daily reported on Tuesday.
Sadak is a board member of the Democratic Society Congress (DTK), an umbrella organization of the Kurdish political movement, deemed illegal by Ankara. He and two others were detained on Sunday by Turkish police over terror charges after a rally held by the pro-minority People’s Democratic Party’s (HDP).
“I was arrested after a hearing late last night,” Sadak tweeted on Tuesday, adding that he was being taken to Hilvan Prison in the southeastern province of Sanliurfa.
1-HDP Viranşehir Mitinginde yaptığım konuşma gerekçe gösterilerek gözaltına alınmış ve gece geç saatlere kadar devam eden mahkeme sonrası tutuklanmama karar verildi.Hilvan cezaevine götürülüyorum. pic.twitter.com/HahYigJglz
— Selim SADAK (@SelimSadak) March 11, 2019
Pro-government media entities reported that the detention of Sadak and his two aides was based on his remarks during the rally in Viransehir district of Sanliurfa, where the HDP co-chair, Sezai Temelli, also addressed the crowds.
Previously, Sadak spent a decade in jail, along with Leyla Zana, Orhan Dogan, and Hatip Dicle – Democracy Party (DEP) members – after immunity was lifted in 1994. They were sentenced to ten years in prison for spreading propaganda on behalf of the PKK.
DEP was a pro-Kurdish political party in Turkey, founded on 7 May 1993. The party was banned by the Constitutional Court on 16 June 1994.
As local elections of 31 March approach, the Turkish government has tightened its grip on HDP members with police raiding HDP buildings in various cities and detaining several members of the party.