Bahçeli should be sued for insulting Erdoğan, not me: HDP-co-chair
EDİRNESelahattin Demirtaş, one of the two jailed co-chairs of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), has said he did not insult President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, but the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader did by calling the head of state a “thief.”
Demirtaş, who is in prison for alleged links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), testified on Dec. 8 on the separate charges of “insulting the president.”
In his response to prosecutors via the voice and video informatics system (SEGBİS), Demirtaş said he did not target Erdoğan but recalled MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli’s own words about the top of the state.
“You call the president a thief and yet you still enjoy yourself in [the presidential] palace,” said Demirtaş, referring to Bahçeli’s campaign comments before the Nov. 1 elections and then subsequent collaboration between the MHP and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) on a major constitutional change that will grant Erdoğan extraordinary powers.
“I cannot understand why the president’s lawyer sued me. If Bahçeli’s lawyer made a denunciation, it would make sense. I said no word directly to the president. I just reminded Bahçeli of his own words,” Demirtaş said.
“[Bahçeli] ran his campaign saying that they would be vile if they did make these thieves pay,” Demirtaş said.
“Does Bahçeli have the right to call the president a thief according to the law but I don’t?” Demirtaş asked.
Ten 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).