Ankara Prosecutor's Office Orders HDP Co-Chairs To Testify For Slander Charges

Ankara Prosecutor's Office Orders HDP Co-Chairs To Testify For Slander Charges

Co-chairs of the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) have been summoned to the Ankara Public Prosecutor’s office to testify in a case launched against them for charges regarding statements made publicly, the Firat News Agency and Anadolu Agency reported Thursday (June 30).

Public prosecutors in Mersin and Kayseri have filed complaints against Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksedag for various charges, including humiliating the military or police and slandering a public official.

Demirtas said on June 5 that Turkey’s judiciary has confused its role in government with “political instructions,” criticizing the judicial branch for bending to pressure from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

Demirtas added that MPs would not allow prosecutors to pursue the charges in court, citing a compromised judiciary.

Critics of the AKP and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan say the campaign against HDP lawmakers is to push opposition MPs out of the assembly and allow Erdogan to pursue an executive presidential system unchecked.

Turkey’s parliament approved a measure on May 20 to strip HDP MPs of their immunity – a right granted to all Turkish lawmakers – to allow for a trial on terror charges.