Turkish presidency to jailed former HDP co-chair Demirtaş: Stay at home

Turkish presidency has sent an e-mail to several citizens, including jailed former HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş, urging them to stay at home amid coronavirus outbreak. Demirtaş's wife Başak Demirtaş has shared the e-mail on her social media account, saying: "That is what we are saying as well."

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Turkish presidency's digital transformation office is sending an e-mail to citizens urging them to stay home and utilize “e-devlet” (e-government) online platform to tackle public-related matters amid coronavirus outbreak.

One of the recipients of this e-mail was Selahattin Demirtaş, the former co-chair of the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) who is currently jailed in the western province of Edirne.

Demirtaş's wife calls on authorities to suspend execution of jail terms amid virus outbreakDemirtaş's wife calls on authorities to suspend execution of jail terms amid virus outbreak

Selahattin Demirtaş's wife Başak Demirtaş has been for weeks urging the government not to discriminate against political prisoners in its early parole bill and demanding that her husband is released along with thousands of other prisoners amid the virus outbreak.

Upon seeing the e-mail sent to Selahattin Demirtaş, Başak Demirtaş wrote on her Twitter: “In the e-mail you sent to Selahattin, you are saying, 'Do not leave the house if you have a serious chronic illness.' Well, that is what we are as saying as well.”

Demirtaş suffers from a health condition that remains unclear. In December, he felt ill again and lost consciousness after suffering from tightness and inability to breathe. He said that his condition had worsened in prison as he suffered 20 such attacks in the past three years.

The Turkish parliament will next week debate a bill seeking to free approximately 90,000 of the country’s nearly 300,000 inmates. The penal reform was fast-tracked amid concerns over coronavirus outbreak in the country's overcrowded jails.

Jailed human rights activists, journalists and opposition politicians will not be however among those considered for early release.

90,000 inmates set to be released amid coronavirus concerns90,000 inmates set to be released amid coronavirus concerns