Indictment on Kobani riots accepted, 108 suspects face life sentences

An indictment on the notorious Kobani riots of Oct. 6-7, 2014, was accepted by the Ankara Chief Prosecutor’s Office on Thursday. Life sentences are being sought for 108 suspects, including former Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-Chair Selahattin Demirtaş.

The suspect list, of which 27 are already under arrest, includes other HDP politicians as well. It includes former HDP co-Chair Figen Yüksekdağ, the former mayor of eastern Kars province, Ayhan Bilgen, and former HDP deputies Sırrı Süreyya Önder and Sebahat Tuncel.

The suspects are facing various charges, including murder, burning the Turkish flag, damaging prayer houses, abduction and damaging public property.

Although the indictment has been accepted, the trial date has yet to be announced.

In October 2014, amid a Daesh siege on the PKK’s Syrian affiliate, the YPG, on Ayn al-Arab – or Kobani – Demirtaş and other HDP officials called for riots. In the events that would become known as the Oct. 6-7 Kobani protests, 31 people were killed and some 350 others were injured in clashes between pro-PKK and conservative Kurdish groups and security forces throughout Turkey, especially in the southeast.

During the violence, 16-year-old Yasin Börü was brutally murdered by the terrorist group’s supporters in southeastern Diyarbakır when he was distributing meat for poor families.

Following the events, more than 1,600 investigations were launched, 894 suspects were detained and 386 of them were imprisoned. Eighteen of the 41 suspects were sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Yasin Börü and his friends.

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