Turkey’s Prosecutor Opens Probe Against Kurdish Leader Over ‘autonomy’ Remarks
Turkish prosecutors on Monday opened a criminal investigation against the leader of Turkey’s main pro-Kurdish party on accusations of committing crimes against the constitutional order.
The accusations against Selahattin Demirtas, the co-leader of the Kurdish Peoples’ Democracy Party (HDP), relate to remarks he made about the possibility of autonomy for Turkey’s Kurdish minority.
Ankara prosecutors were investigating him over accusations of crimes “against the constitution and its functioning”, without specifying how long the politician could spend in prison if convicted.
Turkish media said the case related to a speech made by Demirtas on Sunday where he said Kurds in Turkey had to decide whether to live in autonomy or “under one man’s tyranny”.
Demirtas has emerged as a key rival over the last year of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, with many commentators saying he is the only politician in the country to rival the charisma of the Turkish leader.
Prosecutors in July had also opened a probe against Demirtas on accusations of inciting people to take up arms during October 2014 pro-Kurdish protests that left dozens dead. Under those charges he could face up to 24 years in jail.