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Lawyer faces investigation for sharing photo of jailed Kurdish politician in court

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The İstanbul Bar Association has launched an investigation into Ramazan Demir, a lawyer representing jailed Kurdish politician Selahattin Demirtaş, for sharing the politician’s photo taken at a court hearing, Turkish media reports said on Friday.

Demirtaş, who was the co-chairperson of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) when he was detained along with other HDP politicians in November 2016, has been incarcerated at Edirne Prison since then, facing terrorism charges in several cases.

Demir tweeted a photo of Demirtaş presenting his defense during a hearing at the Bakırköy Courthouse.

“The İstanbul Bar Association has launched a disciplinary investigation into me based on a request from the Justice Ministry due to this photo. I don’t wish you a happy Lawyers’ Day,” Demir tweeted on Friday.

April 5 is celebrated as Lawyers’ Day in Turkey.

A Turkish court found Demirtaş guilty in September of disseminating terrorist propaganda and sentenced him to four years, eight months in prison.

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) ruled in November that Demirtaş’s pre-trial detention was a political act and ordered his release. Turkish courts refused to implement the European court’s ruling, and a regional appeals court in Turkey on Dec. 4 upheld Demirtaş’s four-year, eight-month prison sentence for disseminating terrorist propaganda.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan frequently accuses HDP politicians of being terrorists due to the party’s alleged links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has been waging a bloody war in Turkey’s Southeast since 1984.

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