Turkish authorities briefly detained the spokesman of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) for insulting police yesterday, a party lawmaker said, the latest detention of a high-profile politician from the pro-Kurdish opposition.
Osman Baydemir was released after a brief detention and testimony at the local prosecutor’s office, fellow lawmaker Meral Danis Bestas said.
Baydemir, 46, was elected to the Turkish parliament in 2014. In addition to representing the southeastern province of Sanliurfa, he also serves as the HDP’s national spokesman.
More than a dozen HDP lawmakers have been jailed, mostly due to alleged links with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has waged an insurgency against Turkey for more than three decades. The HDP denies direct ties to the PKK, which is considered a terrorist organization by the United States, Turkey and the European Union.
The party’s co-leaders, Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag, have also been jailed, which handicapped its campaign against the April referendum to change the constitution and grant President Tayyip Erodgan sweeping new powers.