Former HDP co-chair Demirtaş allowed to visit father in Diyarbakır after latter’s heart attack

Turkish authorities have allowed renowned Kurdish politician Selahattin Demirtaş, currently jailed in the northwestern province of Edirne, to visit his father in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır after the latter had a heart attack and was hospitalized.

Archive photo: Demirtaş with his parents

Duvar English

Former Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş, who is currently jailed in the northwestern Edirne Prison, has been allowed to visit his father Tahir Demirtaş in the southeastern Diyarbakır province after the latter’s heart attack.

Demirtaş was brought to Diyarbakır under heavy security measures at around 4 a.m. on Nov. 12, according to reporting by Amida News outlet. After Demirtaş was allowed to see his father hospitalized at Gazi Yaşargil Training and Research Hospital, he was transferred back to Edirne.

Demirtaş Defense Group, a group of lawyers representing the renowned Kurdish politician, released a statement saying Demirtaş’s both mother and father were hospitalized after becoming ill.

“Demirtaş’s mother Ms. Sadiye has been discharged from the hospital after her treatment at the intensive care unit, whereas his father Mr. Tahir is still under treatment at the cardiology intensive care unit,” the statement read.

Demirtaş, in prison since 2016, faces hundreds of years in prison on charges related to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) despite a previous European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruling that he was imprisoned on political grounds and should be released immediately.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan frequently targets Demirtaş in his speeches, calling the renowned Kurdish politician a “terrorist.”

It is known that terror charges in Turkey often target dissidents as a way to quash politicians, civil society activists, and journalists as thousands of them remain in prison without any concrete evidence.