Deniz Tekin / DUVAR

Lawyers have filed a complaint with the Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSK) against a prosecutor who listed sending greetings to jailed politician Selahattin Demirtaş as a crime on the indictment of another politician currently behind bars.

In a phone call with his lawyers, Mehmet Arslan, former co-chair of the pro-Kurdish Democratic Regions Party (DBP), asked them to send many greetings to former pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş as well as two other jailed former HDP parliamentarians, Abdullah Zeydan and Sebahat Tuncel. The lawyers were scheduled to meet with the jailed politicians, who are behind bars on terror charges. 

Lawyers allege that Diyarbakır public prosecutor N.T. is guilty of the crimes of ‘wrongful conduct’ and ‘attempting to influence a fair trial’ and that listing Arslan’s greeting to Demirtaş as a criminal action seeks to make him look guilty in the eyes of the public and influence his ongoing trial. 

Arslan was arrested on terror charges in May. His next hearing is scheduled for September 30. Numerous members of the HDP and its regional sister party DBP are behind bars on charges of supporting or being a member of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). 

Within the past year, dozens of elected mayors from the HDP have been stripped from their posts and replaced with government-appointed trustee mayors on the same basis. 

Demirtaş has been jailed since November of 2016 in a prison in Edirne, in the northeastern corner of the country, though he hails from the southeastern city of Diyarbakır where his family lives.