Pro-Kurdish party leader resigns to do military service

The head of Turkey's main pro-Kurdish party has resigned and will perform the military service he had sought to avoid on health grounds, the state news agency Anatolian said on Wednesday.

Pro-Kurdish party leader resigns to do military service
Nurettin Demirtas, who stood down as leader of the Democratic Society Party, has been facing trial on charges of using fake health reports in order to get out of compulsory military service.

Earlier in the week Demirtas, 35, was released by the court and was later taken to an army camp to start his military service, which usually lasts about 15 months and is obligatory for all able-bodied Turkish men.

Prosecutors, who say Demirtas's party has links with the PKK, were seeking a 2-5 year prison sentence for the former DTP leader, who rejects the charge against him.

Demirtas could however still face jail as his trial may be resumed after he finishes military service.

Demirtas is not a member of parliament but was elected head of the party in November. The DTP has 20 members of parliament and seeks autonomy for mainly southeastern Turkey.

Reuters
Last Mod: 01 Mayıs 2008, 11:11
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