Deniz Poyraz case – Presiding judge: Eyes of the world are on this case

The trial over the killing of Deniz Poyraz by armed assailant Onur Gencer at the İzmir Provincial Organization Office of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) on June 17, 2021 continued with its second hearing at the İzmir 6th High Criminal Court today (January 24).

While the hearing was scheduled for 9 am, it began at 12.30 pm. Arrested defendant Onur Gencer was present in the courtroom.

The Presiding Judge, ahead of the hearing’s start, reminded the audience of the tension at the first hearing on December 29, 2021 and said:

“A brawl occurred at the previous hearing and we had to end the hearing. This trial is a trial that the public of Turkey and the world have their eyes on. We need to maintain order and discipline at the hearing. If a brawl and tension occur at this hearing as was the case at the previous hearing, we will have to carry on with it in the courtroom in Şakran.”

Following the speech of the Presiding Judge, an identity check was conducted on the parties and witnesses.

‘It is a result of the HDP being targeted’

After the identity check, the requests for intervening in the trial were received. Regarding the HDP’s request for intervention, HDP Co-Chair Sancar said, “We request intervention in this trial. This sorrow is primarily our sorrow; this rage is primarily our rage. This case is our case.”

Noting that “the defendant did not target a specific person”, Sancar added, “The prosecutor of the investigation limits our requests for intervening with inviolability of the workplace and damage to property. In fact, the subject matter of this case and our loss is much more than that. For this reason, we request that our request for intervention be taken into consideration.”

Sancar said, “We lost our party member, our employee, our beloved one. For this reason, it is not a sound finding that our sole aggrievement is about damage to property or violating the inviolability of the workplace. The responsibility of your court is not only to us but to the entire humanity. This attack is a result of the HDP being targeted by political power holders.”

Requests for intervening in the case

After Sancar’s statement, the other requests for intervening in the case were received. Human Rights Agenda Association Chair – lawyer Özlem Yılmaz, Progressive Lawyers’ Association (ÇHD) lawyer Erdoğan Akdoğdu, SYKP Co-Chair Canan Yüce, Rosa Women Association’s lawyer Berfin Polat, Labor Party (EMEP) İzmir Chair Emine Uyar, Young LGBTI+ Association’s lawyer Mahmut Şeren, Green Left Party’s İbrahim Akın, Progressive Workers’ Party’s lawyer Şiar Rişvanoğlu, Socialist Party of the Oppressed (ESP) lawyer Doğukan Taşdan, Lawyers for Freedom Association’s Aryen Turan, Lawyers for Democracy’s Zöhre Dalkıran, İzmir Bar Association Chair Özkan Yücel, Diyarbakır Bar Association Chair Nahit Eren, Mardin Bar Association Chair İsmail Elik, Muş Bar Association Chair Kadir Karaçelik, Şırnak Bar Association’s Dilan Nas, Bursa Bar Association’s Cahit Kazak, İstanbul Bar Association’s Burcu Arslan and Trabzon Bar Association’s Nihan Göktürk also expressed the requests of their organizations for intervening in the case.

Requests for intervening in the case rejected

After hearing the requests for intervening in the case, the prosecutor expressed an opinion as to the requests and demanded that the requests of the Poyraz family, HDP officials and their lawyers be accepted while those of the others be rejected as they were not directly aggrieved.

The court board examined the requests and accepted the requests for intervention raised by the mother, father and siblings of Deniz Poyraz, HDP Co-Chair Mithat Sancar and HDP provincial co-chairs and rejected the requests of other associations and organizations.

The hearing continues…

CLICK – Assailant’s ‘psychological disorders’ cited in indictment

The hearing was followed by HDP Co-Chair Mithat Sancar, HDP MPs Filiz Kerestecioğlu, Serpil Kemalbay, Gülistan Kılıç Koçyiğit, Ayşe Acar Başaran, main opposition CHP MP Sezgin Tanrıkulu, Human Rights Association (İHD) Honorary Chair Akın Birdal, Peace Foundation Chair Hakan Tahmaz, Diyarbakır Bar Association Chair Nahit Eren, İzmir Bar Association Chair Özkan Yücel, Muş Bar Association Chair Kadir Karaçelik, Mardin Bar Association Chair İsmail Elin, representatives from the İstanbul, Şırnak, Bursa, Yalova and Bingöl Bar Associations and the Union of Turkish Bar Associations (TBB) and the family of Deniz Poyraz.

What happened?Onur Gencer stormed the HDP’s İzmir provincial office on June 17 and shot party worker Deniz Poyraz dead. His social media posts revealed that he was a sympathizer of the nationalist Grey Wolves group.The indictment referred to the assailant’s “diagnosis with anxiety disorder and mild depressive episodes” in 2016.The prosecution demanded an aggravated life imprisonment for Gencer on the charge of “premeditated wilful killing” and up to 7 years in prison on charges of “violating the immunity of workplace” and “damaging the buildings, facilities or property of the political parties or professional organizations.”