Medical check for jailed Kurdish politician Demirtaş a week after collapse

Selahattin Demirtaş, the former co-chair of Turkey’s pro-Kurdish opposition Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), has been released from hospital after undergoing a medical screening, Diken news site reported on Tuesday.

The Kurdish politician suffered from chest tightness and difficulty breathing, symptoms similar to a heart attack, and fainted in his cell on Nov. 26, his sister and one of his lawyers Aygül Demirtaş tweeted on Monday.

She added that Turkish authorities had barred Demirtaş from receiving adequate medical treatment for almost a week.

Following her tweets, Demirtaş was taken to a hospital late on Monday and released from the hospital on the same day after cardiology, neurology and gastroenterology experts detected no life-threatening pathology, the head physician of Trakya University’s medical faculty hospital said.

The main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) said it was sending a delegation to the prison to visit Demirtaş and investigate his situation.

The former HDP co-chair has been jailed since Nov. 2016 on multiple terrorism charges related to alleged links to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, an outlawed group that has fought for Kurdish self-rule in Turkey since 1984.

Demirtaş and the HDP say the Turkish government has used its control of the country’s judiciary to remove a political rival. The European Court of Human Rights ruled in November 2018 that the politician’s pre-trial detention was a political act and demanded his release, but Turkish courts refused to implement the decision. A high criminal ruled to release Demirtaş pending trial in October, but he has remained in prison due to his conviction in another case.