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HDP deputy submits parliamentary question over journalist stripped of parental rights

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Pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) Adana deputy Meral Danış Beştaş submitted a parliamentary question on Tuesday asking why – among all the other rights – the authorities chose to disqualify journalist Arzu Yıldız from using parental rights.

Requesting a written response, Beştaş submitted her question to Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ, asking the reason why “disqualification from using parental rights” was chosen to punish Yıldız among all the other security measures stated in the 53rd Article of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK).

“Ruling to strip journalist Arzu Yıldız, mother of a 4-month-old baby and a six-years-old, off her parental rights as part of a case related to press offences is far from being understandable in the face of current judicial system and the law,” Beştaş stated in the parliamentary question.

She asked minister Bozdağ, “Do you think any court ruling might deprive a mother from her parental rights? Why did they [the authorities] choose “disqualification from using parental rights” among all the other security measures stated in the 53rd Article of the TCK?”

Article 53 of the TCK mandates that “As legal consequences of sentence to imprisonment due to a felonious intent, a person may be disqualified from; undertaking of a permanent or temporary public service, use of right of voting or right to be elected, use of parental right, employment as manager or auditor in the foundations, associations, unions, companies, cooperatives and political parties in the status of legal entity and to perform a profession or art as free-lancer or tradesman subject to consent of a professional organization in the status of public institution or public corporation.”

A Mersin court has sentenced journalist Arzu Yıldız to 20 months’ imprisonment and deprived her of parental rights over posting videos on social media that show prosecutors — who currently face trial for ordering search of trucks belonging to the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) in January, 2014 — defend themselves in court.

In January 2014, a number of trucks, which were found to belong to the MİT, were stopped by gendarmes in two separate incidents in the southern provinces of Hatay and Adana, after prosecutors received tipoffs that they were carrying arms to Syria.

Four former prosecutors and a former gendarme officer were imprisoned after a court ordered their arrest due to their role in the search of trucks allegedly carrying weapons to opposition groups in Syria, a move that came shortly after government figures, including President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, accused the officials of “treason and espionage.”

A case was filed against those involved in the investigation and an indictment, which was approved by the Tarsus High Criminal Court in July 2015, seeks a life sentence for Adana Chief Public Prosecutor Süleyman Bağrıyanık, former Adana Deputy Chief Public Prosecutor Ahmet Karaca and Adana prosecutors Aziz Takçı and Özcan Şişman, as well as Gendarmerie Commander Col. Özkan Çokay, who were involved in the investigation.

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