Duvar English

Former co-chair of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Selahattin Demirtaş underwent a medical check-up at the hospital on Dec. 2 and his test results did not show any life-threatening medical conditions, Aygül Demirtaş, Demirtaş’s sister and one of his lawyers, announced on social media.

“Our client and my brother Selahattin Demirtaş was transferred this evening to the hospital. All the necessary tests were conducted and he was brought back to the jail. As of now, no life-threatening condition has been detected,” Aygül Demirtaş wrote on Twitter late on Dec. 2.

After a couple of more tests, doctors will reach a diagnosis, Aygül Demirtaş said. “As of now, his state of health and mood is very good. The HDP headquarters has been notified of the situation late because of us,” she said.

Trakya University Medical School Hospital also released a statement regarding Demirtaş’s health situation, saying that the former HDP co-chair had seen doctors from the cardiology, neurology, gastroenterology and chest diseases units and following the analysis of relevant tests, no life-threatening symptoms were observed.

Earlier on Dec. 2, Aygül Demirtaş announced on social media that the former HDP leader had not been still taken to the hospital despite losing consciousness on Nov. 26.

Just hours after Aygül Demirtaş tweeted the information, the chief prosecutor in the western province of Edirne, where Demirtaş is being held, said that initial tests on Nov. 26 “had indicated no health issues.”

It said appointments were made at a hospital to conduct detailed tests, and Demirtaş had been transferred to the hospital on Dec. 2. “After Selahattin Demirtaş, who is jailed at the Edirne F Type Prison, on Nov. 26 notified the prison management that he fell ill, 112 medical emergency/ambulance hotline was called, and his initial inspection was undertaken by the doctor who came and the necessary examinations were conducted,” Edirne’s Chief Prosecutor’s Office said.

“Even though no health issue detected, the necessary appointments were made and he [Demirtaş] was today transferred to Trakya University Medical School Hospital for more detailed tests to be conducted,” the prosecutor’s office said.

In a statement on Twitter, Aygül Demirtaş said that her brother lost consciousness last week due to chest tightness and inability to breathe and received first response from his cellmate.

“Our client and my brother Selahattin Demirtaş lost consciousness due to chest tightness and inability to breathe on Nov. 26 at 5:30 a.m. He was unconscious for a long time and he received first response from his cellmate Abdullah Zeydan,” Aygül Demirtaş tweeted on Dec. 2.

“An ambulance was dispatched afterwards and he only underwent an ECG test. Our client asked to be dispatched to a clinic for a more extensive treatment instead of the emergency room,” she also said.

“The prison doctor wanted Demirtaş to be sent to cardiology, neurology and gastroenterology departments. We, as his lawyers, asked for his immediate dispatch to a hospital,” Aygül Demirtaş said.

“However, Demirtaş hasn’t been sent to a hospital even though seven days have passed. The fact that he is not sent to a hospital despite such a critical health condition means that he is being kept under life threat,” she added.

“Selahattin Demirtaş’s political hostage situation is almost being tried to be turned into an intervention against his right to life. We don’t even want to think about the slightest negativity of Demirtaş’s health,” she also said.

Demirtaş: Let my people know that I have a disease

The HDP said shortly after that Demirtaş was taken to hospital after the party deputies Erol Katırcıoğlu and Necdet İpekyüz visited Demirtaş in prison.

“He doesn’t have any problems at the moment. He looked strong and dynamic,” Katırcıoğlu told Hacı Bişkin from Duvar, adding that Demirtaş didn’t want this incident to be heard.

Saying that Demirtaş doesn’t blame the prison administration regarding him not being taken to a hospital, Katırcıoğlu conveyed the former co-chair’s remarks regarding how he feels.

“Let my people know that I have a disease. It worsened under these conditions. It needs to be treated,” Demirtaş told Katırcıoğlu.

İpekyüz also commented on the issue, saying: “Demirtaş [initially] waited for a while not to disturb the public and asked his lawyers not to make his illness public, but since one week passed by [since he lost consciousness] and still he was not transferred to the hospital, the incident reflected in the social media, and we then intervened and the necessary permissions were given by the Justice Ministry.”

Demirtaş has been in jail since Nov. 4, 2016 on terror charges in Edirne. He has been kept in the same cell with former HDP deputy Zeydan.

Speaking about the incident, current HDP co-chairs Pervin Buldan and Sezai Temelli said on Dec. 2 that they were heading to Edirne.

“We urge the government and Justice Ministry to release a statement urgently,” they said. “What’s his current health condition? Why wasn’t he taken to a hospital?” they asked.

HDP deputy Meral Danış Beştaş also commented on the incident, saying that it was “horrific” that Demirtaş was not taken to a hospital despite prison doctor’s request to do so.

Meanwhile, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) decided to send a delegation to Edirne F Type Prison to check on Demirtaş’s health. The delegation that will visit Demirtaş on Dec. 3 consists of CHP Vice Chair Veli Ağbaba and deputies Bayram Yılmazkaya (a medical doctor) and Zeynel Emre (lawyer).

Police detain five demonstrators urging Demirtaş’s release

According to Mezopotamya news agency, a group of people late on Dec. 2 gathered in Istanbul’s Beyoğlu district, protesting arrest of all political prisoners and holding placards reading “Freedom for Selahattin Demirtaş.”

At the end of the demonstration in the Cihangir neighborhood, five people were detained. They were reportedly taken to the Karaköy police station.