Lawsuit against Demirtaş for attendance to demonstration violated his rights: Top Turkish court

Turkey's Constitutional Court has ruled that jailed former HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş's rights were violated in one of the several cases launched against him. The ruling concerns judicial authorities' move to open a lawsuit against the renowned Kurdish politician, citing his attendance to a 2011 demonstration in which slogans in favor of the PKK were chanted.

Duvar English

Turkey's Constitutional Court has said that the state had violated the rights of renowned Kurdish politician Selahattin Demirtaş by launching a lawsuit against him on the grounds that he had attended a demonstration in 2011 in which slogans in support of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) were chanted.

The top court ordered the state to pay the former Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair 13,500 liras in compensation, Mezopotamya news agency reported on July 20.

“The fact that the applicant [Demirtaş] was one of the attendees of the meeting does not automatically give him the status of being the meeting's organizer or manager. Also, his sole attendance to the meeting does not mean that he was complicit in the activities of those who acted against the law,” said the top court's decision.

The court said that although legal proceedings against Demirtaş had been suspended with a probation order of three years, it cannot be “legitimate” for such a lawsuit to be launched in the first place on the grounds that “some demonstrators chanted slogans and unfurled the terror organization's [PKK] flag when the applicant [Demirtaş] was at the meeting.”

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