In the wake of his meeting in Turkey’s southeastern province of Hakkari yesterday (May 10), Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) presidential candidate Muharrem İnce told a group of journalists a dialogue that took place between him and President and Justice and Development Party (AKP) Chair Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Meeting with Peoples’ Democratic Party’s (HDP) presidential candidate and former co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş in Edirne Prison, İnce said that Demirtaş told him, “I’d appreciate if you tell other candidates too. I am here, you are floating around. All candidates serve time in prison for one week so it will be fair”.
“I said this to Mr. Erdoğan, and in response Mr. Erdoğan said, ‘I did my turn of jail”.
For how long has Demirtaş been in prison?
Then co-Chair of the HDP Selahattin Demirtaş was detained and arrested along with the other co-Chair, Figen Yüksekdağ, on November 4, 2016. Demirtaş has been in prison for 18 months and one week without any finalized verdict rendered for him.
For how long and why did Erdoğan stay in prison?
In a speech he made in Siirt on December 6, 1997, Erdoğan read out a quatrain from a changed version of the poem called “Asker Duası” (Soldier’s Prayer) written by Ziya Gökalp for Turkish soldiers in Balkan Wars. Erdoğan was claiming that the poem was changed.
A lawsuit was brought against Erdoğan on charge of “inciting people to enmity and hostility” over the poem he read out. The indictment was completed on February 12, 1998.
Sentenced to 4 months and 10 days in prison, Erdoğan entered Pınarhisar Prison in Kırklareli on March 26, 1999 and was released on July 24, 1999. (HK/TK)