Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday that a call by the European Court of Human Rights for the release of Kurdish politician Selahattin Demirtas was hypocritical and only Turkish courts can rule on his case.
Speaking to members of his ruling AK Party, Erdogan repeated his view that Demirtas is a terrorist responsible for the deaths of dozens in 2014 protests. He said the ECHR ruling was political.
The Grand Chamber of the ECHR ruled on Tuesday that Turkey must immediately release the former leader of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) after his more than four years in prison. It said the justification for his detention was a cover for limiting pluralism and political debate.
In the same speech, Erdogan said Turkey hoped to turn a new page in its ties with the United States and the European Union in 2021.
He added he believed that US president-elect Joe Biden would show the “necessary importance” to Turkey-US ties.