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Demirtaş slams Turkish opposition over support for Syria incursion

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Selahattin Demirtaş, the former co-chair of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), has criticized Turkey’s opposition for supporting the government’s cross-border offensive into northeastern Syria, the Artı Gerçek news website reported on Thursday.

In an interview he gave to the Yeni Özgür Politika website, the jailed leader said Turkey’s Kurds will remember the opposition’s stance towards the government-led war against them.

“Those who have extended unconditional support to this war owe an explanation to the people,” Demirtaş said. “Those who promote war and death against Kurds will one day be ignored by them.”

On Oct. 9 Turkey launched an offensive against Kurdish militia in northeastern Syria. The operation was halted after the government struck a deal with Russia. The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) expressed reluctant support, while the nationalist İyi (Good) Party has been fully behind the incursion.

He also said he feels freer behind bars than “those who live at one man’s knee,” referring to the rule of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Demirtaş has been imprisoned since November 2016 on terrorism-related charges as part of the Turkish government’s crackdown on the Kurdish political movement.

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