https://ahvalnews.com-An Ankara court has issued an arrest warrant for pro-Kurdish opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) lawmaker Semra Güzel, Cumhuriyet newspaper reported on Thursday, days after Turkey’s top court rejected an application seeking the reversal of the lifting her parliamentary immunity over terror charges.
On March 1, Turkey’s parliament voted to strip Güzel of her immunity, in a move that paved the way for the lawmaker to face trial on terror charges.
The 38-year old lawmaker is facing two counts of membership in a terrorist organisation over a series of photos that surfaced in early January, showing the deputy posing with a member of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in what appears to be an encampment for the armed group.
The PKK, which is designated a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the United States, and the European Union, is an armed group that has waged a four decade-long insurgency in Turkey.
Güzel maintains that she had been engaged to the PKK militant in question, Volkan Bora, who was killed in clashes in northern Iraq in 2017, before he joined the group.
The deputy has also said that the pair lost contact for years, before they met again during a 2.5-year-long ceasefire and peace process between Turkey and the PKK. The photos were taken at this meeting, in 2014, according to Güzel.
The arrest warrant for the HDP lawmaker was issued after she failed to appear in court following the lifting of her diplomatic immunity, Hürriyet newspaper reported.
Ankara has in recent years intensified a crackdown on the HDP, with almost all mayors elected from the party being dismissed and replaced by government-appointed trustees while hundreds of members have been jailed on terror charges, including the party’s former co-chairs Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ.