The imprisoned co-chair of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), Selahattin Demirtaş, said in testimony in court on Thursday that 10 deputies from his party who are currently in jail are being punished as part of a vendetta, adding that the charges against them are baseless.
Demirtaş, who testified by means of an electronic connection to the courtroom from Edirne Prison, said that even if he and his lawyers did not submit a defense, they would be acquitted since the charges are not based on any judicial criteria. However, Demirtaş noted that since they are being treated as if they are terrorists, they would strongly defend themselves. Demirtaş will be tried for humiliating the institutions of the republic, one of 102 separate judicial cases filed against him.
The prominent Kurdish politician, who has been under arrest since November, also said he has been kept in solitary confinement for the last 45 days. Demirtaş underlined that he and his colleagues are elected deputies and represent the people, calling their party a part of Turkey.