Galip Ensarioğlu, a former deputy from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), has testified to prosecutors as part of a terrorism investigation launched into him for offering condolences to the family of a Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) militant who was killed in 2015, according to Deutsche Welle’s Turkish edition.
The investigation into Ensarioğlu was initiated by the Diyarbakır Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office on charges of disseminating terrorist propaganda
The former AKP deputy, who testified as a suspect to prosecutors at the Diyarbakır Courthouse on Monday, told Deutsche Welle he did not attend the funeral of the YPG militant who was killed by Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorists in Iraq’s Sengal area but only offered his condolences to his family in Diyarbakır.
Ensarioğlu also said when the incident took place, the Democratic Union Party (PYD), a Kurdish political party in northern Syria, was not recognized as a terrorist organization by Turkey. The YPG is the armed wing of the PYD.
Turkey considers both the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the PYD to be terrorist organizations.
“There is a difference between attending a funeral and offering one’s condolences. Offering one’s condolences [to the family] is a requirement of our traditions, while going to someone’s funeral can mean acceptance of an [illegal] organization,” Ensarioğlu said.
Dozens of Kurdish politicians have faced terrorism charges in Turkey for attending the funerals of PKK or YPG militants.