I knew I would be arrested 15 days before: Arrested HDP co-chair
Rifat Başaran - ISTANBULArrested People’s Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş has said he knew he would be arrested 15 days before his arrest, during a visit from a committee of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) on Nov. 30.
A CHP committee that featured lawmakers Fikri Sağlar, Eren Erdem, Ali Şeker and Orhan Sarıbal visited the arrested HDP co-chair at Edirne Prison.
“I knew I would be arrested 15 days ahead of time. I told my daughter how to act when they [police] came to arrest me. I could have gone abroad, but I prefer being in jail in my country instead of being in a foreign land,” he said.
Demirtaş also said he was upset that his right to function as a member of the legislature had been taken from him.
“I have to maintain my legislative activity. I submit motions, but they are overruled. This authorization does not belong to the warden; it belongs to the parliamentary speaker,” he said.
Erdem also commented on claims that Demirtaş had been placed in isolation, noting that prison authorities had said he was placed in a special area to avoid provocations.
Meanwhile, the CHP committee also visited the arrested ousted co-mayor of Mardin, Ahmet Türk, in Silivri Prison.
“As long as peace comes to my country, they can hang me in Taksim Square; I’ll sign my name to the decision. As long as it stops the flow of blood and the death of children, I am ready for everything,” he said.
Nine lawmakers from Turkey’s opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), as well its co-chairs, Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ, were arrested on Nov. 4 in a probe that was launched against 14 of the party’s lawmakers over alleged links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
The proceedings came after probes were launched against a number of party deputies for their alleged actions carried out during the Democratic Society Congress (DTK) in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır between Dec. 26 and 27, 2015, the Oct. 6-8, 2014, Kobane events, as well as their alleged involvement in the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK), a Kurdish umbrella group that includes the PKK.