Former Turkish lawmaker seeks political asylum in Greece

ABC news — A pro-Kurdish former MP convicted of insulting Turkey’s president has requested asylum in Greece after crossing the border on Wednesday, Greek authorities said.

Leyla Birlik, 44, a Turkish citizens surrendered to Greek police near the northeastern town of Alexandroupolis, and requested asylum in Greece. She was released pending the asylum process.

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.

Greek asylum authorities say 1,839 Turkish citizens have requested asylum in Greece so far this year — more than the 1,827 Turkish citizens who requested asylum for the whole of 2017.