Enis Berberoğlu, jailed deputy from Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), has refused to take necessary medication in protest of his imprisonment, a senior party official said, adding that the party was planning a new campaign for Berberoğlu’s release.
“Everyone will see we will not stay silent about Berberoğlu, and we will not let justice in Turkey be politicized,” Gürsel Tekin, CHP deputy leader, said according to a report by Deutche Welle (DW) Turkish on Wednesday.
Tekin said Berberoğlu, who has chronic high blood pressure, has been refusing to take his medication in protest. “Our concern for his health has been increasing,” Tekin said.
Berberoğlu was arrested in 2017 after being sentenced to 25 years in prison over espionage charges for allegedly giving Cumhuriyet daily a video purporting to show Turkey’s notorious National Intelligence Organisation (MİT) trucks carrying weapons into radical Islamist groups in Syria. He was a CHP lawmaker and his immunity was lifted with a constitutional change in 2016.
Following an appeal period and re-trial, an İstanbul court had sentenced him to 5 years and 10 months in February, for allegedly “disclosing government secrets.” He denies the charges.
After he was re-elected as İstanbul deputy in the June 24 elections, the CHP appealed to the Court of Cassation, demanding the prosecution of his sentence to be suspended until he is stripped of his lawmaker status. The top court rejected the appeal on July 20.
Berberoğlu has previously announced he would cut off all communication with his immediate family and lawyers, stating the top court had “trampled over” his constitutional right.
The CHP have appealed to a higher court of appeal and Tekin said the main opposition “expects there will be a decision for his release.”
“If not, we will go to the Constitutional Court. We are 100 percent sure there will be the decision to release him there,” Tekin said. He added that if there would not be any positive rulings from the top courts, then the CHP “will use all of its democratic rights to protest.”