Former PM Davutoğlu withdraws complaint against Demirtaş over ‘insulting’

Former PM Ahmet Davutoğlu has withdrawn his complaint against jailed Kurdish politician Selahattin Demirtaş over “insulting.”

Hacı Bişkin / DUVAR

Former Prime Minister of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and current leader of the opposition Future Party Ahmet Davutoğlu has withdrawn his complaint against jailed former Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş over “insulting a public official.”

With the mid-2015 collapse of peace talks between the Turkish state and the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), more curfews than any other time in the modern Turkish state’s history were announced, leading to civilian killings and destruction of thousands of homes.

Various reports later gathered evidence of multiple human rights violations in the Cizre district of the southeastern province of Şırnak. A total of 288 people died across the district, including 177 in basements, during the curfews, according to reports from NGOs.

The then HDP co-chair Demirtaş said that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and then Davutoğlu will go down in history as “child killers and women killers.” Following this statement, a criminal case against Demirtaş was opened over charges of "insulting a public official." 

In the previous hearing of the case held on Sept. 23, Demirtaş said: “I wish Davutoğlu was here. What does he complain about and how much punishment does he want me to receive? I want him here at the next hearing. He said that he had withdrawn all his complaints during his term as the PM. I'm the only person he hasn't withdrawn his complaint against. Some 47 lawsuits were filed against me. I have been unjustly imprisoned for six years. More than 10,000 years of punishment are at stake. I am a political prisoner. One of the cases is ‘insulting’ Ahmet Davutoğlu. I would like to ask Davutoğlu. Isn't your heart cold? What exactly is your aim?”

After the hearing, the Future Party held a statement and said the case against Demirtaş was automatically opened because Davutoğlu was a public official during his prime ministership and Davutoğlu had withdrawn all complaints he made personally.

“Ahmet Davutoğlu did not file a complaint about the issue, nor did he request participation and follow-up in the case. Our lawyers did not request participation in the case and did not attend the hearings,” the statement said.

As the discussion continued, Davutoğlu called an HDP executive and said that he was “sorry and ordered his lawyers to withdraw from the case.”

In the latest hearing held on Oct. 5, the judge said that Davutoğlu submitted a petition to the case and withdrew his complaint.

Davutoğlu, who founded the Future Party late in 2019 after resigning from the ruling AKP, is seen as one of the main politicians responsible for the destruction in Kurdish-majority cities following the June 7, 2015 general elections.

During his prime ministerial term, Davutoğlu repeatedly targeted Demirtaş and the HDP. He was also the prime minister when Demirtaş was arrested on Nov. 4, 2016.

(English version by Alperen Şen)