Selahattin Demirtas, the arrested co-chair of the Kurdish issue-focused Peoples Democratic Party (HDP), has requested his release from jail in a petition written to the Eighth Heavy Penal Court in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır. Demirtas, who is currently jailed in the northwestern province of Edirne, stated in the petition that he was arrested with “an exaggerated and non-proportional raid aimed at creating a political sensation”. “We have no doubt that the [arrests of HDP lawmakers] are being directed from a center” he said, noting that 31 summaries of proceedings were prepared for him and 11 of the prosecutors who prepared them had themselves been arrested for being members of the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), believed to have been behind Turkey’s failed July 2016 coup attempt. “My indictment was increased to 501 pages and the sentence being sought for me was determined as 142 years in order to create a negative perception in the public. They wanted to create the impression that my arrest was necessary” Demirtas added. The HDP co-chair said in his petition that his right to a fair trial was violated and his rights stemming from being a deputy were seized from him through his arrest. At present a total of 11 HDP figures, including Demirtas and the HDP’s other co-chair, Figen Yüksekdag, remain in prison and face hundreds of years in jail.
A court in the western province of İzmir has accepted an indictment against the Kurdish issue-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party’s (HDP) co-chair and two other party lawmakers on terror charges, seeking up to five years in jail, a judiciary source said on Nov. 28. The İzmir Public Prosecutor’s Office had charged HDP co-chair Figen Yüksekdağ, who is in jail on terror charges, and HDP deputy Erdal Ataş with “making propaganda for a terrorist organization.”