ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – Turkey’s pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) filed a second criminal complaint in a month on Saturday against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan over his earlier remarks calling the party’s imprisoned co-chair Selahattin Demirtas a “terrorist.”
In a press release on its website, the HDP said their lawyers demanded from a Turkish court in the major Kurdish city of Diyarbakir to oblige Erdogan to pay 60 thousand 500 Turkish Liras (approximately 17 USD) in compensation for targeting Demirtas' constitutional rights as a citizen.
The amount of indemnities demanded were calculated based on over the six million votes the HDP garnered in the June 2015 parliamentary elections, one kurush (the smallest Turkish currency subunit) for every vote the party got.
Erdogan labeled Demirtas a “terrorist” early in July when a journalist asked whether the HDP leader and other jailed Kurdish lawmakers would be released during a press conference on the sidelines of a G20 summit in the German city of Hamburg.
HDP argued the President and leader of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) violated the Turkish law that emphasizes the presumption of innocence.
“I do not have the authority to release terrorists from prison,” Erdogan said before proceeding to state he would welcome any decision judicial authorities may give regarding Demirtas' case.
Police detained Demirtas and a dozen other Kurdish lawmakers in midnight house raids in November 2016.
Demirtas rose to prominence during June 2015 elections with his success of garnering 13 percent of votes for the HDP.
The pro-Kurdish party’s winning 80 seats in the Parliament effectively denied the AKP a super majority required to form a one-party government.
The Kurdish leader has previously said he was a “hostage” because of his stance against what he described as Erdogan’s plans of forging “a one-man rule” in Turkey.
Erdogan views the HDP as the political front for the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) that is waging a decades-long guerrilla warfare against Turkish troops over government repression of Kurdish rights.
Editing by Ava Homa