Click to read the article in Turkish
Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu has been convicted of engaging in "terror propaganda" on his social media accounts and sentenced to two and a half years in prison.
Gergerlioğlu is former president of The Association for Human Rights and Solidarity for the Oppressed (MAZLUMDER), as well as a medical doctor and a columnist for various publications.
Gergerlioğlu had been dismissed from the medical profession by a decree (KHK) issued under the state of emergency on January 7, 2017.
Before his dismissal, he had been suspended from his duty at İzmit Seka State Hospital on October 14, 2016 for a photograph he shared on social media.
Gergerlioğlu, who was on pretrial release, accompanied by his attorney Gürkan Biçen attended the hearing held at Kocaeli 2nd High Penal Court today (February 21).
Presiding Judge Muhiddin Paça read out the charges against the defendant involving glorifying the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) in his social media posts and articles he wrote for various internet news sites.
"My posts were pro-peace"
Gergerlioğlu noted that he had organized the wise people committee's program in Kocaeli during the solution process and said:
"I have never supported terror or terrorist organizations in word or deed. In fact, MAZLUMDER has made statements condemning the PKK.
"My posts on Facebook have been pro-peace. On October 1, 2015, a group of mothers had gathered for peace, so that children would not die anymore. They had staged an enactment where there was a coffin with a PKK symbol on it on one side, and a coffin with Turkey's flag on it representing Turkey's soldiers on the other. I was very moved by that photo, and I shared it on social media. I supported the mothers. I gave a peace message. So there was a PKK flag on the coffin. I saw that flag to be a symbol. I don't acknowledge it as the PKK flag anyway. This case was filed against me as a result of this post."
Gergerlioğlu requested his acquittal.
The public prosecutor in his opinion demanded the defendant be convicted for "engaging in terrorist organization propaganda".
The panel of judges found the defendant guilty of engaging in propaganda glorifying and promoting the violent and coercive methods of the PKK/KCK, and sentenced him to 2 years 6 months in prison for "engaging in terrorist organization propaganda". (HK/PU)
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