Erdogan has not withdrawn insult case against Kurdish leaders: report

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has withdrawn defamation lawsuits filed against two opposition leaders but has let an insult case against the pro-Kurdish party's leadership continue, his lawyer told the daily Hurriyet on Monday.

On Friday night, at an event marking two weeks since a failed coup attempt left more than 260 dead, Erdogan announced he would drop all insult cases. More than 1,845 such cases were filed, the justice minister said earlier this year.

The pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) was previously not invited to meet the president when he hosted the other opposition leaders following the failed coup attempt.

All parties in parliament opposed the coup, including the centre-left People's Republican Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) on the right.

Huseyin Aydin, the lawyer, told the daily the cases against the CHP and MHP leaders were dropped. Broadcaster NTV also reported that the cases against HDP's leaders were not being withdrawn.

A government spokesman did not reply to a dpa request for comment. Erdogan has repeatedly accused the HDP of having links to the banned Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), though the HDP remains legal and denies that it answers to the armed group.

The president successfully had parliament pass a constitutional change this year which removed the legal immunities of more than 150 members of parliament, in a move that was widely seen as targeting the HDP, as about 55 of the party's 59 legislators were affected.

Critics say Erdogan has become increasingly authoritarian and is a sharply divisive figure in Turkey, though he was elected president in 2014 with a clear majority.

It also remains unclear if Erdogan will drop a case against Jan Boehmermann, a German comedian, who read a poem on his television show deriding the Turkish leader.

Last update: Mon, 01/08/2016 - 14:41

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