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>> Basak Demirtas is getting ready to visit her husband in Turkish prison, but he's no regular inmate. Selahattin Demirtas is presidential candidate for the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party, or HDP. And the outcome of Turkey's election on Sunday could depend on him.>>
> I'm being held in a maximum security prison, but I know that you are carrying out the electoral campaign for me with faith and enthusiasm.>> A message coming from behind bars that could cause an upset for President Erdogan.
This shows the seriousness of the problems we are facing in our country, especially in terms of democracy.>> Demirtas was one of more than a dozen HDP lawmakers detained in a wide-ranging crackdown, following an attempted coup in 2016. He's on trial accused of links to the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, designated a terrorist group by Turkey, the US, and the EU.
But despite his incarceration and the threat of a 142-year sentence, there is no legal barrier to him standing for the presidency. Though it does make campaigning difficult. With virtually no media coverage of him or his party, Demirtas gets his message out via social media, party colleagues, and his wife.
But if his sway can cross that divide, the vote there could have a huge impact on the parliamentary and presidential election. The HDP is seeking the 10% of votes it needs to enter Parliament. If it fails, dozens of seats are likely to go to President Tayyip Erdogan's AK Party, almost certainly guaranteeing him the parliamentary majority that recent polls have suggested he could lose.
On Sunday, Demirtas appeared on television for the first time in 20 months, in an election address allotted to all candidates.>>