Erdogan slams CHP’s calls for release of Demirtas

<p style="text-align:left">Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan blamed the main opposition Republican People&amp;rsquo;s Party (CHP) for calling for the release of Peoples&amp;rsquo; Democratic Party (HDP) former jailed leader Selahattin Demirtas.

&ldquo;It&rsquo;s only the PKK and the CHP that want this party (HDP) in parliament,&rdquo; Erdogan said at a rally in the southeastern province of Adıyaman on June 1.

Erdogan&rsquo;s comment came after CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu stressed the importance of the presence of the HDP in parliament in an interview last week.

&ldquo;This party [HDP] has failed to be a real political party as it could not rescue itself from being under the control of the bloody-handed organization,&rdquo; Erdogan said.

According to Hurriyet daily Erdogan accused the elected HDP mayors of southeastern provinces, who were later ousted and replaced by state-appointed mayors, of serving the &ldquo;interests of terrorists&rdquo; instead of locals, adding that a party like this had no place in parliament.

Erdogan also slammed CHP&rsquo;s presidential candidate Muharrem Ince who called for the release of Demirtas, HDP&rsquo;s presidential nominee, from prison. &ldquo;You [Ince] went to Edirne to visit this person. Wasn&rsquo;t it this man who was responsible of the killing of 53 people in an attack that occurred after the June 7 [2015] elections in Diyarbakir [southeastern province]? Who are you serving for?&rdquo; he said.

Demirtas has been imprisoned over terror charges since late 2016 but is yet to be convicted. HDP officials had appealed for his release so that he can campaign freely.

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