Author : Hurriyet Dailynews
Posted : May 30, 2017
A court in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır issued an arrest warrant on May 30 for Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Şanlıurfa deputy and spokesperson Osman Baydemir on charges of “insulting public servants on account of their position,” according to Doğan News Agency.
The Diyarbakır Fourth Penal Court of First Instance took the decision after Baydemir failed to attend a hearing despite a court order. The HDP deputy’s lawyer, Serdar Çelebi, told the court that Baydemir had a busy schedule as the party’s spokesman and was currently in Ankara to deliver a speech at the party’s parliamentary group meeting.
“For an arrest warrant to be issued, someone needs to be on the run. I am taking care of political activities. I stand by every statement I said. Therefore, there is no case of running away,” Baydemir told journalists in Ankara.
On Nov. 3, 2012, a group of 30 people, including then-Diyarbakır Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Baydemir, gathered in front of the Diyarbakır provincial building of the Peace and Democracy Party’s (BDP) – whose entire parliamentary caucus joined the HDP in 2014 – and staged a sit-in protest at the entrance to the governor’s office.
An indictment said Baydemir and those with him were “warned to leave the garden premises,” but that the then-mayor refused to leave the governor’s office but addressed security forces and insulted them for doing their jobs.
Following the arrest of HDP deputy Besime Konca on May 29, 11 lawmakers from the party, including its co-chairs Selahattin Demirtaş and Fügen Yüksekdağ, are currently in jail and face hundreds of years in prison for alleged links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).