Turkish prosecutor investigates Demirtas' self-rule remarks
ANKARA, Turkey (K24, Agencies) – On Monday, Chief Public Prosecutor in the Turkish capital of Ankara, Harun Kodalak, launched an investigation into remarks made by the co-chair of the Democratic Peoples' Party (HDP), Selahattin Demirtas, who said that an independent Kurdistan would rise.
Demirtas' remarks came on Sunday during a meeting by the Democratic People's Congress (DTK), made up of several Kurdish political parties and civic organisations in Diyarbakir.
"There will be a Kurdistan reality in the next century. It will have autonomous regions, federal regions... and it may have an independent state," Demirtas told the congress on Saturday.
"Kurdish people will decide themselves how they want to live here. The rest will respect that decision," he said.
A K24 correspondent in Ankara reported that the Turkish prosecutor accused the Kurdish leader of "committing crimes against the constitutional order, inciting hatred among the public, and praising the crimes of criminals."
As a member of the Turkish Parliament, Demirtas has parliamentary immunity from prosecution that can only be waived by a majority of MPs.
The prosecutor also accused HDP Deputy Co-chair Sebahat Tuncel, MP Sirri Sureya Onder, and the DTK co-chairs Hatip Dicle and Selma Irmak, and the co-chair of the Democratic Regions Party, Kamuran Yuksek, all of whom attended and gave speeches during the two-day meeting in Diyarbakir which demanded autonomy for Turkey's Kurdish citizens throughout the Kurdish-majority southeastern part of the country.
The final resolution of the meeting, titled "Declaration of political resolutions regarding self-rule" stated "the rightful resistance mounted by our people against the policies that degrade the Kurdish problem is essentially a demand and struggle for local self-governance and local democracy."
Tensions between the Turkish government and the HDP has been rising since the collapse of the peace talks last summer between the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and the Turkish Army. A new wave of violence in mountainous and mostly curfews-imposed urban areas has resulted in the death of hundreds of PKK fighters, Turkish soldiers, police officers and civilians.
Demirtas' meeting last week with Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov in Moscow and his comments regarding Russia-Turkey relations angered the Turkish Prime Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, who accused the HDP leader of treason.
Demirtas also said that Turkish military deployment in Kurdish-majority areas amounted to occupation and accused Turkish authorities of "staging a coup" and "waging war on the Kurdish people" in Northern Kurdistan.
(Adnan Gerger contributed to this report from Ankara)