Didem Yeşilova, İstanbul – A member of the Turkish parliament faced terrorism charges, along with two others, at their eighth hearing before İstanbul 14th High Criminal Court. Enis Berberoğlu, an MP for the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), Can Dündar and Erdem Gül have been accused of “aiding and abetting a terrorist organization”. The hearing was adjourned until February 6.
Berberoğlu and Gül were both present, along with their lawyers. Dündar lives overseas and was represented at the hearing by his wife, Dilek Dündar. The court issued a confidentiality order which prohibited members of the public from observing the court proceedings, overruling objections by defense lawyers, citing ‘national security risks’. CHP MP Sezgin Tanrıkulu and former CHP MP Barış Yarkada waited in the courthouse corridor as a show of support.
The court took a drastic step and accepted the prosecution’s request to ban Berberoğlu from leaving the country. “This judicial control order is unnecessary,” observed Berberoğlu. “I have not been abroad for 4 years. I am a known politician, I will be attending the following hearings in person.”
Berberoğlu’s lawyers asserted that the proceedings are unlawful because of Berberoğlu’s legislative immunity as a member of parliament, an argument which the prosecution hotly contested. The court will review the immunity argument upon receiving the defense’s completed court filings, and adjourned the hearing until February 6.
Updated: November 30 2018