Turkey: Imprisoned politicians reply to interior minister's remark

Turkey: Imprisoned politicians reply to interior minister's remark
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Mizrakli and Demirtas, cell mates in Turkey's Edirne prison, have responded to Soylu who targeted Istanbul mayor for having visited Mizrakli after he was removed from his post.

Kurdish politician Selcuk Mizrakli replied to Turkish Interior Minister, who claimed on Wednesday that "he is imprisoned for being a member of the Kurdistan Workers' Party," saying they will settle scores in court.

Minister Suleyman Soylu targeted Selcuk Mizrakli in the context of his accusations against Istanbul mayor Ekrem Imamoglu, noting that Imamoglu had met with Mizrakli after he was removed from his post as mayor of Diyarbakir.

Mizrakli, former deputy for the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) and mayor of the Kurdish-majority city of Diyarbakir, was removed from his post by the Interior Ministry and replaced with an appointed trustee in August 2019, and has been incarcerated over "terror" charges since October 2019.

The court ruling against Mizrakli was recently overturned on 6 December by the Court of Cassation who said the decision was based on "insufficient investigation and poor justification." The court still rejected an application for Mizrakli's release.

Mizrakli addressed Soylu on Twitter:

"I've heard that you mentioned about me today. You'll mention about me more frequently in the coming days. All investigation about me have been dismissed and the court ruling against me was overturned by the Court of Cassation. Interior minister, don't you ever forget my name! We'll settle scores before justice."

Selahattin Demirtas, imprisoned former co-chair of HDP, and Mizrakli's cell mate in Edirne prison, also tweeted in response to Soylu's remark. He said:

"It is very befitting that Soylu mentioned about Mr. Mizrakli when he targeted Mr. Imamoglu! Soylu actually says, 'Just like we appointed a trustee to Diyarbakir through a conspiracy, we'll do the same in Istanbul.' How can a man make a clearer confession! (Excuse me fo calling him a 'man')."