Turkish court rejects appeal of Kurdish politician who was punished for saying "Kurdistan"
The Turkish Constitutional Court (AYM) dismissed a prominent Kurdish politician's appeal for the annulment of a penalty that was imposed on him because he used the word "Kurdistan" in an address in the Turkish Grand Assembly (TBMM) five years earlier.
Osman Baydemir, former deputy for the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) and former mayor of the Kurdish-majority province of Diyarbakir, was banned temporarily from the parliament and was charged a fine, after he had said:
"As a Kurd, and as a representative coming from Kurdistan, I wish that this roof serves as a roof for both Kurdish and Turkish people."
When met with reactions from ruling bloc deputies and asked by deputy speaker of the parliament, Aysenur Bahcekapili, where Kurdistan is, Baydemir had responded by pressing his palm on his chest and saying: "This is where Kurdistan is, Ms. Deputy."
Baydemir said in his application to the Constitutional Court in 2018 that the punishment imposed on him constitutes a violation of both the European Convention on Human Rights, and the Turkish constitution that secures freedom of expression and legislative immunity.
The court ruled on Thursday that Baydemir's application "is not acceptable."
The court is expected to publish within a week the grounds on which its decision was based on.