Deniz Tekin / DUVAR
A prosecutor has deemed sending regards to former Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş as a proof of “terrorist organization membership.”
In the indictment into former Democratic Regions Party (DBP) co-chair Mehmet Arslan that included the testimony of a secret witness, a prosecutor included his conversation with a lawyer, identified only as Doğan E.
“Send my regards to Selahattin and other friends,” Arslan told a lawyer set to visit Demirtaş and other former HDP deputies Abdullah Zeydan and Sebahat Tuncel in prison.
“The suspect was happy that the lawyer visited these individuals serving prison sentences over being a member of a terrorist organization and that he supported them,” read the indictment.
Demirtaş was arrested on Nov. 4, 2016 over his suspected links to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
Hundreds of HDP and BDP members face the same accusation.
The indictment also cited the fact that Arslan, who faces 15 years in prison, is “an unofficial member of” Rosa Women’s Association.
Arslan was arrested alongside 10 others on May 23 as part of an ongoing probe into the association that’s being carried out by Diyarbakır Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office.
A total of 15 demonstrations that he attended in 2019, his press statements, protesting against appointment of trustees to HDP-run municipalities and his social media posts were cited as “elements of crime.”
In his testimony, Arslan said that he attended all of those protests and assemblies as the DBP co-chair and upon no one’s orders.
He also said that the secret witness testimony is unfounded, adding that the Rosa Women’s Association is a legal association.
A banner that was seized during the raid on the association’s building was also accepted as proof of a crime.
“Femicides are political,” read the banner, which, according to the prosecutor of the case, aims to create an environment of chaos in the region to support the PKK.
The prosecutor also said that calling the eastern and southeastern regions of Turkey, which are predominantly Kurdish, “Kurdistan” is a crime.