Prominent Turkish lawyer faces 7½ years in prison on terrorist propaganda charges

A Turkish prosecutor is seeking 7½ years in prison for a prominent lawyer on charges of making terrorist propaganda.

Tahir Elci, the head of the bar association in the mainly Kurdish city of Diyarbakir, was briefly detained last week for saying during a live news program that the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, is not a terrorist organization. His comments came amid renewed fighting between the PKK and Turkey's security forces following the collapse of peace talks.

An Istanbul prosecutor's office insisted in an indictment on Monday that Elci's comments amounted to terrorist propaganda. A court must approve the indictment before a trial can begin.

Turkey and its allies consider the PKK to be a terrorist organization.

The group has been fighting for autonomy in southeastern Turkey since 1984.