HDP leaders kept in solitary isolation, family visits Demirtas

Demirtas called her husband's confinement "illegal," but added his health and morale was well.

KOCAELI, Turkey (Kurdistan24) - Turkish authorities continue to keep the co-chairs of Turkey's Pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag in solitary confinement in prisons they are held in as the former received a family visit while the latter was denied a meeting with two Swedish lawmakers on Wednesday.

The Swedish Left Party's Jonas Sjöstedt and Lotta Johnsson Fornarve were with an HDP delegation headed by the party's Deputy Co-chair Aysel Tugluk who got permission to see Yuksekdag in the Kandira Prison in the northwestern city of Kocaeli.

Sjöstedt wrote in a tweet that "a large group of armed military police" outside the prison told them not to make press statements.

Speaking to reporters in front of the prison after her meeting with Yuksekdag, Tugluk said the treatment her party's leaders received as "ordered from higher posts" was also to the six million voters.

Turkish police detained HDP leaders and eight other lawmakers midnight in house raids in early November.

Tugluk also said prison authorities threatened to confiscate documents the HDP officials wanted to share with their jailed leadership, reported a Kurdistan24 correspondent in Kocaeli, east of Istanbul.

Meanwhile in Edirne, near the Bulgarian border with Turkey, Demirtas' wife Basak Demirtas, his two daughters, brother, sister and parents visited him.

Demirtas called her husband's confinement "illegal," but added his health and morale was well, according to the private-owned Dogan news agency.

In Belgium's Brussels, messages by Demirtas and Yuksekdag were read in a two-days international conference on Turkey and Kurds at the European Parliament.

In their letters, both leaders criticized President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's rule as they complained of censorship applied to their messages to outside.


Editing by Ava Homa

(Ercan Dag contributed to this report from Kocaeli, Turkey)