President Tayyip Erdogan accused Europe’s top rights court of hypocrisy on Wednesday for calling on Turkey to release a jailed Kurdish politician, saying it was defending a “terrorist”, a stance rejected by his defenders as a cover to stifle democracy. The Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights ruled on Tuesday that Selahattin Demirtas, former leader of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), must be freed immediately. Turkey’s justification for his detention longer than four years on terrorism-related offences was a pretext for limiting pluralism and political debate, the ECHR said. Lawyers for Demirtas hailed the decision and Western allies urged Ankara to heed it. But while such rulings are legally binding, Turkey has not implemented them in several past instances, including a previous ECHR ruling on Demirtas’ case. Speaking to members of his Islamist-rooted AK Party, Erdogan said the ECHR was acting on behalf of a “terrorist” and repeated his view that Demirtas is responsible for the deaths of dozens in street protests that are at the core of the charges against him.