ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — Turkish prosecutors presented photographs of Selahattin Demirtas with PKK members to connect him to the group on Friday, with Demirtas arguing that as a peace negotiator, one has to meet with both sides. The trial is in recess and will continue on April 11.
Two sets of photos were presented in court: one with Demirtas in Mount Qandil next to Kurdistan Workers’ Party fighters, and one while visiting with the party’s leader Abdullah Ocalan in Turkey’s Imrali prison.
"Did we take Imrali photographs?” said Demirtas. “The director of the prison took them. The justice minister gave them to us."
Demirtas, the as a negotiator in 2013, was trying to prevent the PKK from restarting an armed fight against the Turkish state.
Demirtas, the previous co-chair of the HDP,pointed out that the latter photographs were approved because they benefited them.
He cited Turkish officials as saying "Peace meetings are serious. Let's take photographs of this and give them to the public."
“Democratic autonomy has been put in my dossier as terror activity, while I defended it constantly and instantly as a political thought. This exists in all our party's documents,” said Demirtas.
Qandil, in the border region between the Kurdistan Region and Turkey, is the mountainous headquarters of the PKK.
The trial is in recess. The former HDP co-chair wasn't released. His trial will continue on April 11.
"Democratic autonomy is included in HDP's program. I was defending self-determination in live broadcasts I attended ... I had defended it without humming and hawing as I have defended it here,” he said.
The 44-year-old resigned Kurdish politician was arrested in 2016. He faces terrorism charges for links to the PKK
Demirtas also appeared in court on Thursday