HDP co-chairs arrested

HDP co-chairs Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ are arrested.

HDP co-chairs Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ had been detained last night in a police raid to their houses. In this morning, Demirtaş and Yüksekdağ gave statement to the prosecutor in Diyarbakir courthouse and then they were referred to the court with arrest request. Appeared in the court around 3 pm, Demirtaş and Yüksekdağ are arrested. 

Who is Figen Yüksekdağ?

She was born in 1971 in Adana.

In 1992, she was arrested after attending May 1 demonstrations in Adana and stayed in prison for a month. She was the founding member of various left-wing student organizations. She contributed to various left-wing periodicals.

In 1998, she started to work in the editorial board of Atılım newspaper.

Yüksekdağ went into politics in Socialist Platform of the Oppressed founded in 2012. In the same year, she run for the parliamentary election as the independent candidate of ESP.

She was arrested on September 21, 2006 and released after a year.

In 2009, she was arrested once again because she attended the funeral of Kutsiye Bozoklar and stayed in prison for 6 months. In 2010, she was elected as the first chair of ESP (Socialist Party of the Oppressed).

She is one of the founding members of HDK (Peoples' Democratic Congress), which was founded on October 15, 2011.

In the second convention of HDP, on June 22, 2014, she was elected as co-chair of HDP with Demirtaş.

On July 31, 2015, a lawsuit was filed against her on charges of “making propganda for a terrorist organization” and “being a member of an armed terrorist organization”. The ground of these charges is a speech that she gave in Suruç on July 19: “We rely on YPJ, PYG and PYD and we don't hesitate to express and defend this fact.”

Who is Selahattin Demirtaş?

He was born in 1973 in Elazığ.

He is graduated from Ankara University Law school and practiced law.

He worked as a board member and chair in Human Rights Association (İHD) Diyarbakir Branch. The association had a policy of pressing the issue of unsolved murders during Demirtaş's term as the chair. He was also one of the founding members of Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (TİHV) and Amnesty International Diyarbakir Branch.

Going into politics in 2007 in DTP (Democratic Society Party), Demirtaş was elected to the parliament in the same year. He was the group deputy chairman of DTP.

After DTP was closed, the MPs were transferred to BDP (Peace and Democracy Party) and Demirtaş was elected as co-chair of BDP with Gültan Kışanak.

In 2011, he was the candidate of the Labor, Democracy and Freedom Bloc and he was elected as Hakkari MP.

Being BDP co-chair during ceasefire and peace negotiations, he was elected as co-chair of HDP with Figen Yüksekdağ.

He run for presidency in 2014. He was once again elected to the parliament in June 7 and November 1 parliamentary elections.

After the parliamentary immunity was lifted on May 20, 2016, over 90 dossiers against Demirtaş have been sent to Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor's Office. Two life sentences and a total of 486 years of imprisonment have been demanded for Demirtaş.