BURSA - A French-Turkish university student went on trial on Wednesday accused of links to an outlawed far-left extremist group in a case that has sparked criticism from human rights groups.
Sevil Sevimli, who was arrested in May and spent three months in jail until her conditional release in August, appeared in court in the northwestern city of Bursa along with five other defendants. All are accused of colluding with a terrorist group, a crime that risks up to 32 years in prison. "We are here for ridiculous reasons. Hopefully I will be acquitted as soon as possible but I do not think it will happen right away," 20-year-old Sevimli told reporters before the hearing. She had been forbidden to leave Turkish territory pending her trial. And the next hearing is slated for November 19. Prosecutors accuse her of having links to the Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C), which the United States and the European Union list as a terrorist group.
Since 1976, the DHKP-C has been behind numerous attacks against the Turkish state that have left dozens of people dead, including two retired generals and a former justice minister.