Former HDP Co-leader appeals to Turkey's highest court over ouster from Parliament

Yuksekdag's lawyers argued judicial proceedings against her and other HDP lawmakers, including the party's Co-leader Selahattin Demirtas, were ordered by President Erdogan.

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – The imprisoned former co-leader of Tukey's pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Figen Yuksekdag took her ouster from the Parliament earlier this year to the country's Constitutional Court, her party said on Monday.

In her appeal to the court, Yuksekdag argued her rights as a representative elected by the people were violated, and a decision upholding her removal from the Parliament by the Court of Cassation was politically motivated.

In February, the Turkish Parliament announced the removal of Yuksekdag, an MP for the Kurdish Van Province on the border with Iran, from her seat over a conviction in a 2013 terror-related trial.

She, along with seven others, was sentenced to ten months in prison by a local court in the southern city of Adana in 2016 for “disseminating propaganda for a terror group” for her four years earlier attendance at a funeral held for a leftist militant killed in Istanbul.

Prosecutors separately charged her with "attempting to violate the indivisibility of the state and nation."

Yuksekdag's lawyers said judicial proceedings against her and other nine HDP lawmakers, including the co-leader Selahattin Demirtas, were ordered by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

"There are new investigations speedily launched against the appellant who continues to be viewed as a political target," a copy of Yuksekdag's appeal on HDP website read.

Police arrested HDP's leadership and nine lawmakers in night raids on their homes in late 2016.

Out of 59, five HDP MPs so far have been removed from the Parliament. A committee last month gave a favorable opinion to the ouster of the veteran Kurdish politician and Sakharov Laureate Leyla Zana as well.

On Thursday, 399 days after his arrest, the first hearing of Demirtas is scheduled to begin in Ankara. Prosecutors demand up to 142 years of imprisonment for him.


Editing by Sam A.