Former Turkish Lawmaker Seeking Political Asylum in Greece

By COSTAS KANTOURIS,

THESSALONIKI, Greece (AP) — Greek authorities say a pro-Kurdish former lawmaker convicted of insulting Turkey’s president is requesting asylum in Greece after illegally crossing the border.

A police official said Turkish national Leyla Birlik, 44, surrendered to Greek police Thursday near the northeastern town of Alexandroupolis, and was in the process of requesting asylum in Greece.

He spoke on condition of anonymity Friday because he was not authorized to discuss the case.

Birlik, a former People’s Democratic Party, or HDP, lawmaker was sentenced in January to 21 months’ imprisonment for insulting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. She was freed pending appeal but banned from leaving Turkey.

Birlik had also been arrested in 2016 along with the HDP co-leaders on separate terror-related charges. She was released pending trial but was banned from leaving the country.

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