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Turkey’s jailed Kurdish leader quits active politics after Erdogan’s victory

Selahattin Demirtas' announcement comes amid heated public debate over whether Kemal Kilicdaroglu would resign after he was defeated by President Erdogan in Sunday’s runoff.
A picture shows election flags displaying imprisoned Selahattin Demirtas.

ANKARA — The ongoing public debate in Turkey over whether the country's main opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu would resign the Republican People's Party leadership after his presidential election loss took a surprising twist on Wednesday with the announcement of a departure from another opposition figure. 

One of the most influential Kurdish voices in Turkey, jailed Kurdish politician Selahattin Demritas, 50 years old, announced that he was quitting active politics after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s election victory.

In a tweet posted on his personal account, Demirtas apologized for the general election results that saw Kilicdaroglu — backed by Kurdish politicians — defeated by Erdogan.

“On my own behalf, I sincerely apologize for failing to put forward a political approach worthy of our people,” his post read. “As I carry on with the struggle with perseverance from prison, like all of my comrades do, I am quitting active politics at this stage.”

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