Jailed Kurdish politician Selahattin Demirtaş was taken to Turkey’s Kurdish-majority southeastern province of Diyarbakır (Amed) on Tuesday to visit his mother, who is in intensive care with kidney failure and pneumonia.
Sadiye Demirtaş, Selahattin Demirtaş’s mother, was hospitalised three days ago in a private Diyarbakır hospital. According to the hospital, her health condition is stable.
Demirtaş, former co-chair of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), has been held behind bars in the northwestern province of Edirne since 2016, despite the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) previously confirming that Demirtaş’s imprisonment was ‘politically motivated’ and ordering her immediate release.
The People’s Equality and Democracy Party (DEM) confirmed in a statement that the politician had asked the prison administration to visit his mother after learning of her illness. The prison accepted his request and transferred him to Diyarbakır under heavy security.
Footage shows a heavy police presence outside the hospital where Demirtaş’s mother is being treated. The hospital was under tight security and the press was not allowed to enter, sources said. Demirtaş’s wife, Başak Demirtaş, and his siblings were also at the hospital.
The politician’s father, Tahir Demirtaş, had died on 31 December and Demirtaş then decided not to ask for permission to attend his father’s funeral in protest at his current situation, which he describes as “being a political hostage”.
After a five-hour visit with his mother Demirtaş was immediately taken to the airport to depart for Edirne.