July 30, 2015 / 4:08 PM / 3 years ago

Turkish prosecutor launches probe against Kurdish opposition leader: media

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - A Turkish prosecutor launched an investigation on Thursday into the head of the pro-Kurdish opposition over accusations that he “provoked and armed” protesters during demonstrations in the country’s southeast last year, local media said.

The leader of Turkey's pro-Kurdish opposition Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) Selahattin Demirtas answers a question during an interview with Reuters in Ankara, Turkey, July 30, 2015. REUTERS/Umit Bektas

The chief prosecutor’s office in the mostly Kurdish province of Diyarbakir opened the inquiry into Selahattin Demirtas, head of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), who has been accused by President Tayyip Erdogan of links to Kurdish militants.

Erdogan urged parliament this week to lift the immunity from prosecution of politicians with suspected links to militants.

Dozens were killed in eastern Turkey last October after riots by Kurds over what they saw as the government’s refusal to help Syrian Kurds fighting Islamic State jihadists in the besieged Syrian town of Kobani just over Turkey’s southern border.

Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk; Editing by Nick Tattersall and Kevin Liffey

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