TURKEY

HDP spokesman Osman Baydemir released

HDP SPOKESMAN OSMAN BAYDEMIR RELEASED

Spokesman of the opposition Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) Osman Baydemir has left the court after providing testimony Friday afternoon.

A court in Diyarbakır issued an arrest warrant for the Şanlıurfa lawmaker on Tuesday after he failed to attend a trial hearing.

Baydemir is accused of insulting security forces in 2012, when he was mayor of Diyarbakır, after a protest attempt which was banned by the governor.

He was released after giving testimony to the public prosecutor at a Diyarbakır court.

The spokesman did not deny the accusations, saying: "It is true that I used bad words at that time."

The charges carry a possible prison sentence of one to two years.

The Turkish government has accused the HDP of having links to the PKK, which is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S., and the EU.

A number of HDP deputies, including party leaders Figen Yuksekdağ and Selahattin Demirtaş, were arrested last November after they failed to answer summons to testify as part of a counterterrorism investigation.

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