Secret witness statements form basis of 2014 Kobane case file against Demirtaş: Lawyers

Statements of secret witnesses form the basis of prosecutors' 2014 Kobane case file which alleges that former HDP co-chair Demirtaş gave one of his speeches with instructions of the PKK, says a booklet prepared by the renowned Kurdish politician's lawyers. The booklet points out that these witness statements were taken after Demirtaş's arrest and that they are full of contradictions, assumptions and interpretations.

Duvar English

Lawyers of the jailed former Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş have prepared a booklet on the judiciary process concerning the 2014 Kobane investigation file. 

The booklet comes ahead of the April 26 hearing of the trial against 108 HDP politicians, including Demirtaş.

The indictment into the Kobane protests puts the blame on all deaths that occurred at the time on the HDP even though it has been recently proven that soldiers, police officers, village guards, members of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), Turkish Hizbullah supporters and ISIS were at fault as well.

The booklet opens with a sentence saying that it has been prepared to “convey the truth with regards to basic accusations against Selahattin Demirtaş which are included in the indictment that is publicly known as '6-8 October Kobane indictment.'”

Booklet on former HDP co-chair Demirtaş

Demirtaş himself wrote a preface for the booklet, saying he and his colleagues will “explain the truth” in the first hearing of the trial which will take place at the Ankara 22nd Heavy Penal Court on April 26.

The booklet said that the indictment bases itself on three issues: Demirtaş's speech on Sept. 30, 2014, statements of secret witnesses and Twitter posts.

Demirtaş had said during his 2014 speech: “This is not a plea. This is not gratitude. Let's join the historical resistance all together: let's undertake the historical resistance all together so that we can have a chance to form the historical alliance and historical unity.”

The indictment alleges that Demirtaş had said these four sentences with the instructions of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). The prosecutors base this allegation on statements of witnesses, including anonymous ones.

The booklet draws attention to the fact that these witness statements were taken after the arrest of Demirtaş. It also points out that these statements are full of contradictions, assumptions and interpretations.

Booklet on former HDP co-chair Demirtaş

The Kobane protests took place between Oct. 6 and 8, 2014 and caused the deaths of dozens. Protesters flooded streets in Turkey's mainly Kurdish southeast at the time, outraged over the Turkish government's inaction in protecting Syrian Kurds as ISIS besieged Kobane, just across the Syrian border. 

While Ankara accuses Demirtaş and other HDP officials of inciting violence, the HDP says that it was doing everything it can to prevent bloodshed via being in contact with government officials.

The booklet on Demirtaş and Kobane investigation recalls that the former HDP co-chairman had visited Kobane on Sept. 20, 2014 within the knowledge of the Interior Ministry and official permission of the Şanlıurfa Governor's Office.