Selahattin Demirtaş, a presidential candidate of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), could be released from prison within days, one of his lawyers told reporters on Tuesday.
“It is a shame that Demirtas has not already been freed. It’s a great shame for the judiciary. It is legally unacceptable, especially after his becoming a candidate for the presidency,” lawyer Mahsuni Karaman said. “I have no doubt that Demirtaş will be released in a few days,” he added.
Since Demirtaş’s arrest, his lawyers have made repeated requests to a penal court in Ankara that it release him, arguing that to do so would be in the interest of free and fair elections.
Demirtaş, also former co-leader of the HDP, is competing with the incumbent President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in the run-up to elections that will be held on June 24. In interviews from prison, he has complained of unfair conditions as the country goes to snap polls Erdoğan himself called.
His other rivals, Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) candidate Muharrem İnce, the İYİ Party’s Meral Akşener and the Felicity Party’s (SP) Temel Karamollaoğlu, have said Demirtaş should be freed.