Turkey's Kurdish opposition suspends parliamentary activities

The pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) on Sunday decided to temporarily suspend its activities at the Turkish Parliament where it is the second largest opposition block.

DIYARBAKIR, Turkey (Kurdistan24) – The pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) on Sunday decided to temporarily suspend its activities at the Turkish Parliament where it is the second largest opposition block.

The Kurdish party’s announcement came after the Friday arrests of its co-chairs Selahattin Demirtas, Figen Yuksekdag, and nine lawmakers of whom two were later released.

At a press conference by HDP’s parliamentary group as well as its central board in the Kurdish city of Diyarbakir, the party’s spokesperson Ayhan Bilgen announced a halt to their executive responsibilities at the Turkish Assembly in Ankara.

“Today, Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) regime aims to purge and usurp our democratically-won gains and institutions with its heavy attacks on democracy and opposition,” said Bilgen.

The HDP spokesperson was reading a statement that accused President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of increasing authoritarianism.

“The target is not only the six million people who voted for the HDP but also millions of other citizens who carry on the struggle for democracy, freedom, equality, labor, women’s emancipation, and justice,” read Bilgen.

The HDP spokesperson added his party would continue holding its weekly lawmakers’ convention at the Parliament.

The HDP also called on parliaments around the world to raise voice and “not submit to Erdogan’s threats which were taking Turkey further away from international democratic norms.”

In response, Turkey’s Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said the HDP was making “a mistake” it should revoke quickly.

“When you say we are not coming to the Parliament you are disrespectful; you are insulting,” addressed the Turkish PM to HDP whose leaders and seven MPs were remanded to prison on Saturday.

“If you do not go to the Parliament, the people will do what is necessary to you in elections. If you do not recognize national will, the people will not recognize you,” Yildirim concluded.

 

Editing by Karzan Sulaivany