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FORMER Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtas accused the Turkish state of forging key documents as he launched a searing attack on the government in an Ankara court room today.
He accused President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) of “sitting in the seats of the judges” as the so-called Kobani case reopened in the Turkish capital today.
“At a time when politics has become so dirty and corrupt, and immorality became apparent, I want to state that me and my friends who are on trial here today are prosecuted for political reasons,” Mr Demirtas said via video link.
He is one of 108 leading HDP figures indicted on trumped-up terrorism charges after the party called for indefinite street protests over the government’s failure to act when the largely Kurdish city of Kobane in northern Syria was under siege from Isis in October 2014.
Mr Erdogan, who is accused of supporting jihadist groups including Isis, gloated at the time that “Kobane will fall soon,” leading to an outpouring of anger as he blocked aid from reaching Kurds across the border.
Some 57 people were killed by state security services and allied paramilitaries in the clampdown. HDP members are charged with the deaths of 37 of them, while those that pulled the trigger killing them walk free.
Mr Demirtas told the court that this was “a political case, a revenge case against the HDP.”
“Everyone must be sure about it, we will not be in the defendant chair,” he said, intimating that the AKP and its fascist government partners the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) would soon be facing judgement.
“Don’t worry, people of Turkey. The wind will turn,” he said.
The hearing was suspended after Mr Demirtas accused the court of “deliberately doctoring” a translation of November’s European Court of Human Rights decision that he was being held illegally and should be released immediately.
Britain’s Labour Party finally broke its silence today, telling the Morning Star: “Turkey’s democracy has taken a deeply worrying turn. The arrest and detention of opposition law makers, further attacks against trade unions and the withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention on Women’s Rights.”
A spokesperson said that shadow Europe minister Catherine West had raised concerns with the Turkish ambassador, the Foreign Office and trade unions in Britain and Turkey and had met directly with the HDP.
“It’s vital that Turkey’s government avoids any further erosion of democratic norms and standards, and Labour expects the UK government to make this clear to the Turkish government,” the spokesperson said.
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