Turkey

Erdogan: ECHR ruling on ex-HDP leader 'not our concern'

Turkish president slams ruling demanding release of Peoples’ Democratic Party's former co-chair Selahattin Demirtas

20.11.2018
Erdogan: ECHR ruling on ex-HDP leader 'not our concern'

Ankar

By Muhammet Emin Avundukluoglu

ANKARA

Turkish president on Tuesday said the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruling demanding the release of jailed former co-chairman of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Selahattin Demirtas was "not our concern".

Responding the reporters at the parliament, Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, "Decisions the ECHR make are not of our concern."

Erdogan recalled that ECHR has many rulings on terror groups and they were all against those made by Turkish courts.

"There are also so many things we can do against it [ECHR's decision]. We will do a counter move, and close the deal," said Erdogan.

He added: "Terrorism is still continuing in Turkey and the Turkish nation is the one who pays the price."

Demirtas had been detained during Turkey's referendum and the presidential election campaigns, which the court said "was stifling pluralism and limiting freedom of political debate".

In November 2016, Demirtas along with 12 HDP lawmakers, were arrested on terror-related charges. Demirtas remains in custody pending trial.

Around a dozen HDP lawmakers are currently in prison pending trial for terrorism-related offenses after their parliamentary immunity was lifted in May 2016.

Turkey's government has said the HDP had links to the PKK, which is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and EU.

Erdogan also said would meet with Devlet Bahceli, the leader of the opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) on Wednesday.

Erdogan stressed that he did not see any issue on the continuation of People's Alliance with MHP.

"We will discuss the electoral alliance [in the upcoming local elections]. I hope we will obtain a result which will be good for both sides."

Local elections are set to be held across Turkey on March 31, 2019.

The alliance -- formed early this year, ahead of June general elections -- includes the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party and the MHP as well as the much smaller BBP, or the Great Union Party.

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