Co-chairperson of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Selahattin Demirtaş has refused to use legal terminology to describe what happened to two Diyarbakır co-mayors, saying that they were not arrested but taken hostage by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government.
Diyarbakır Co-mayors Gültan Kışanak and Fırat Anlı were detained on terrorism charges last Tuesday evening in a development that caused outrage and sparked protests in the region. They were arrested on Sunday on the fifth day of their detention.
“The Gültan Kışanak-Fırat Anlı issue is not an ordinary judicial operation. It is one of the phases of a political project aiming to take the entire society hostage. I don’t find it right to use legal terminology to explain what happened to all our arrested politicians. [What happened to them] is a hostage-taking act. It is an act of abduction. Our fellows have been abducted by a gang that is currently in power. They are being held in a place called Kandıra,” said Demirtaş, speaking at his party’s parliamentary group meeting on Tuesday.
Kışanak and Anlı are accused of giving speeches in support of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and of promoting more autonomy for Turkey’s Kurds, according to a statement from the Diyarbakir Prosecutor’s Office. They are also accused of transporting the bodies of dead militants in official cars and of sparking violent protests.