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Politician from pro-Kurdish party to stay in prison despite dementia claims

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A Turkish court has ordered the continued imprisonment of a Turkish politician despite claims that she is suffering from dementia, Agence France-Presse reported on Saturday, citing her lawyer.

Aysel Tuğluk, now 57, was the deputy co-chair of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) before her arrest in 2016.

She was sentenced in 2018 to 10 years in prison for “membership in a terrorist organization.”

Although her release was ordered as part of another case, an Ankara court on Friday ruled that she stay in prison due to the 2018 conviction despite “not being aware of what is happening around her,” her lawyer Serdar Çelebi told AFP.

“The judges saw with their own eyes that Ms. Tuğluk did not understand the questions put to her and was not able to present a defense,” he said.

“But they refused to consider the reports we submitted and transfer her to a hospital.”

Tuğluk was arrested for her activities with the Democratic Society Congress (DTK), an organization considered by the Turkish authorities to be linked to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which is listed as a terrorist organization by Ankara and its Western allies.

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