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Turkey’s Jailed Kurdish Leader Taken to Hospital After Collapse

Turkey’s jailed pro-Kurdish politician Selahattin Demirtas was taken to hospital on Monday for tests after collapsing in his cell last week, local officials said.

Demirtas’s sister had criticized the authorities for failing to take her brother for full checks almost a week after he received emergency treatment in prison for chest pains and breathing problems.

The prosecutor’s office in Edirne in northwest Turkey, where he is being held, later confirmed he was being taken for detailed examinations at a local hospital.

Demirtas founded and led the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP). He has been in prison on terror-related charges since November 2016 over alleged ties to Kurdish militants.

He faces 142 years in prison if convicted. The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) last year called for his release, saying the case was politically motivated.

The charismatic politician, nicknamed the “Kurdish Obama”, was detained in the crackdown under the state of emergency that followed a failed coup in July 2016.


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