A Turkish court on September 7, 2018, sentenced Demirtas and Sirri Sureyya Onder, two prominent faces of the pro-peace opposition to more than four years in jail on terrorism charges.
Demirtas, one of Turkey’s best-known politicians, has been jailed for almost two years while on trial for a series of terrorism-related charges. He faces a total of up to 142 years in prison if convicted, but has so far denied the charges.
The court sentenced Demirtas to four years and eight months for carrying out terrorist propaganda at a speech in 2013, when the government was holding peace talks with PKK, Kurdistan Workers' Party, for a ceasefire.
The court also sentenced Sirri Sureyya Onder, a former lawmaker from Demirtas’ People’s Democratic Party (HDP), to three years and six months in prison on the same charges.
HDP's former MP SÄ±rrÄ± Sureyya Onder has arrived at Kandira Prison. Onder's written statement before entering the prison is as follows:
Good days are ahead
We are going through hard days, which are no surprise to anyone who is part of the work and struggle for peace and democracy in Turkey. This pit of war and vulgarity is not as deep as it may seem.
Although everything may seem gloomy now, good days are in fact coming to our country. Our tradition is full of countless examples of beating the odds.
We stand behind every word we have spoken, every effort we have made with honour. If we have to pay the price for that, then so be it...
I send my greetings to all my friends with sentiments of success and solidarity.