Imprisoned former Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş said that the results of the 2017 referendum and the 2018 general elections would have been different if he was not in jail.
"Both the referendum and the election's results would have been in favor of the opposition if we had been out of prison. Surely, the attacks on me and the HDP are attempts to further divide the opposition," Demirtaş said on Feb. 8.
Anyone employing rhetoric that antagonizes the HDP is aiming to "fraudulently win elections by manipulating public will," Demirtaş added.
"They are trying to keep their accusations alive with fake evidence and testimonies because their plots of lawsuits failed in public opinion, and at the ECHR," Demirtaş noted in reference to the European Court of Human Rights' two rulings in his case.
The ECHR ruled not once, but twice that Demirtaş's human rights were violated by his extended detention since Nov. 4, 2016, but Ankara maintains that ECHR rulings don't bind Turkish courts, failing to release Demirtaş.
Meanwhile, Başak Demirtaş echoed her husband's message, noting that President Erdoğan was elected shortly after Selahattin Demirtaş's arrest, and said that "Erdoğan may have not been able to become president if Selahattin was out."
"We've always called Selahattin a 'political prisoner' because he was arrested on political motives, and the ECHR ruling confirmed that. It showed the whole world that Selahattin is a political hostage," Başak Demirtaş said.