Van co-mayor sentenced to 15 years in KCK case

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The co-mayor of Turkey’s eastern province of Van, Bekir Kaya, was sentenced to 15 years in prison on Jan. 4 on charges of “being a member of terrorist organization,” along with 12 other defendants jailed in the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) case.

The 13 defendants were all given jail terms between seven and 15 years.

The court sentenced Kaya, lawyer Cüneyt Caniş, and former Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) Erçiş district head Veli Avcı to 15 years in prison in the same case. Former Bostaniçi Mayor Nezahat Ergüneş, former BDP Van central district head Halis Çakır, and former BDP Çaldıran district head Metin Adugit were each sentenced to 13 years and six months in prison.

Former Muradiye district head Mehmet Şirin Yıldız, former BDP provincial co-chair Mihriban Şah, and former Özalp mayor Murat Durmaz were each sentenced to 12 years in jail.

Başkale co-mayor İlhan Güler, Edremit co-mayor Abdulkerim Sayan, and former BDP Başkale district head and DTK member Derviş Polat were sentenced to nine years. Former Başkale mayor Hecer Sarıhan was sentenced to seven years and six months in prison.

All lawyers of the defendants said they would appeal the court rulings.

The 13 defendants were detained in an operation against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and KCK on June 7, 2012.

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