Ankara guns for opposition MP as they investigate “terror propaganda” and “praise of violence” charges

An MP of the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) is to be investigated by Turkish prosecutors on charges “disseminating terror propaganda” and “praise of violence.”

Aysu Bankoglu, a CHP lawmaker, is being investigated by Ankara, according to reports by Turkish media on Tuesday.

According to the statement by Ankara Prosecutor’s Office, the investigation is due to Bankoglu’s interview on a TV broadcast on Monday.

She claimed the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has been trying to polarize the country by using some rhetoric like leftist-rightist.

“We, as CHP, have been defending the rights of workers, retirees etc. We ask for their votes in the coming local elections. Votes of those who support [outlawed] Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) or those who support “alliance of dishonour” [alliance of opposition parties]. No matter. It does not matter. Our principals are fixed. It is obvious whom we have defended and sided with so far,” she said in the interview.

Following the interview, pro-government media interpreted deputy’s statements as she was asking for votes from the members of PKK, listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States, and the European Union.

In response, Bankoglu claimed in a written statement pro-government were using a smear campaign against her by using only a few sentences from her interview.

“On every occasion, I have already been stating we believe every voter has equal rights. We, therefore, ask for votes of everyone. I used an allegoristic statement in the interview, pointing to the remarks of the ruling party polarizing and labeled voters,” she added.

Bankoglu investigation is not a rare instance of a deputy being pursued on terror charges in Turkey. If found guilty, the female deputy may face lifting of immunity as a member of parliament and be sentenced in jail, as in the case of Selahattin Demirtas, former co-leader of Pro-Kurdish People’s Party.

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