A Diyarbakır court on Tuesday accepted indictments for Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Co-chairs Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ seeking long jail sentences for both on terror-related charges.
The indictments ask for prison time from between 43 and 142 years for Demirtaş and from 30 to 83 years for Yüksekdağ.
One of the indictments accuses Demirtaş of being an executive of a terrorist organization, inciting hatred among the people, praising criminals and objecting to the law on association with reference to the Kurdish riots of Oct. 6-8, 2014 in reaction to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s remarks on the Kurdish town of Kobani, which was liberated by Kurdish forces in Syria from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
Turkey has stepped up its crackdown on Kurdish politicians in recent months. Trustees have been appointed to dozens of municipalities in the country’s predominantly Kurdish Southeast, while Turkish courts in late 2016 arrested 11 HDP deputies, including the party’s Co-chairs Demirtaş and Yüksekdağ. One of these deputies, İdris Baluken, was released from jail on Monday. With the recent arrest of two more HDP deputies, there are currently 12 HDP deputies behind bars.