ANKARA, Turkey – In an unusual election campaign, Turkey's jailed pro-Kurdish politician and presidential candidate has delivered a speech from his prison cell via a telephone call to his wife and other family members — a video of which was later broadcast on Twitter.
In his speech, Selahattin Demirtas on Wednesday described himself as a "political prisoner," devoid of the right to a fair trial. He asked for votes in the June 24 snap presidential and parliamentary elections, saying "anti-democratic practices" had turned Turkey into one of the most "unhappy and pessimistic" societies.
The 45-year-old former human rights lawyer, imprisoned in Edirne, western Turkey, was arrested in 2016 for alleged links to outlawed Kurdish militants.
He faces a 142-year sentence on charges of leading a terror organization and other crimes. Demirtas denies wrongdoing.