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Demirtaş denies charges in Erdoğan insult case, says he quoted Bahçeli’s remarks

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Jailed co-chairperson of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Selahattin Demirtaş, who on Thursday testified to a court over charges of insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, said he should not be accused of insult because he quoted the remarks of Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli

Demirtaş testified to the Ankara court through the IT Voice and Image System (SEGBİS) from Edirne Prison, where he is jailed.

An insult case was launched against Demirtaş due to statements in which he appealed to the MHP leader. “You are calling the president a ‘thief,’ but at the same time you enjoy your time at the palace of the man you call a ‘thief’.”

The HDP co-chair was referring to Bahçeli’s visits to the presidential palace of Erdoğan whom he accuses of being a “thief” due to corruption investigations that erupted in late 2013 in which Erdoğan’s inner circle was implicated.

In his testimony Demirtaş said if an insult case is going to be opened, then it should be launched against Bahçeli not himself because those statements belong to Bahçeli.

He said he finds it strange that no insult case has yet been filed against Bahçeli by Erdoğan’s lawyers.

In the meantime, Demirtaş’s family members including his wife, children, parents and sister visited him in Edirne Prison on Wednesday. Other than his wife, the group was seeing the HDP co-chair for the first time since his arrest. Demirtaş was in the 33rd day of his incarceration on Wednesday.

Demirtaş’s wife Başak told reporters following the visit that her husband is in good health and conveyed his love and greetings to “our people in Turkey and abroad.”

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