Lifting immunity of Kurdish MPs in Turkey will lead to civil war: HDP warns

Supporters-Cheer-Selahattin-Demirtas-of-Kurdish-Peoples-Democratic-Party-HDP-Istanbul-May-2015-Emrah-Gurel-AP.jpg

Kurdish HDP supporters. File photo

ARA News 

QAMISHLO – The constitutional committee of the Turkish parliament has voted for lifting the immunity of pro-Kurdish deputies, and transferred the motion to the plenary session. Eyyup Doru, the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) representative in Europe, warned this could lead to a civil war.

“The coalition of the three parties, the AKP [Justice and Development Party], CHP [Republican’s People Party] and MHP [Nationalist Movement Party] is aiming to lift the parliamentary immunity of the HDP deputies who, in fact, represent all segments and groups of the society, including the Kurds, Turks, Armanians, Assyrians, Yazidis, Alevies and Christians,” Doru said in a public statement. 

“The plenary session will handle the issue on the 16th of June. If passed, 46 (out of 59) HDP deputies will lose their immunity and will be imprisoned. If this happens, the already intense conflict in the Kurdish region of Turkey will further escalate into a civil war that will cause the displacement of millions,” Doru warned. 

The HDP called on the European Union and Western countries to condemn the decision.

“In this critical conjuncture for Turkey’s democracy and a peaceful resolution of the Kurdish conflict, we invite all persons and institutions embracing universal democratic values to take immediate and concrete action, strongly raise their voice, and stand in solidarity with our struggle against the intended political coup against the parliament and the HDP,” HDP co-chairs Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ said in a statement.

“The HDP will continue its decisive struggle against authoritarian policies that the Erdoğan AKP bloc carries out to annihilate democratic life in Turkey,” they added.

Since a ceasefire collapsed in July 2015, deadly clashes between Turkish forces and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) have intensified. Especially the PKK’s urban youth wing known as the Patriotic Revolutionary Youth Movement (YDG-H) has been involved in clashes with the Turkish government forces in the Kurdish cities.

US considers Turkey democratic, says it has no position on lifting of immunity of Kurdish MPs

The Turkish parliamentary committee on Tuesday approved the lifting of the immunity which would most likely lead to the prosecution of HDP-members and them ending up in jail, ending the Kurdish presence in the parliament.

“Well, again, as a parliamentary democracy, Turkey has well-established democratic procedures in place that will determine who has immunity and what circumstances that it can be lifted and how it’s going to be – how it’s going to be lifted,” John Kirby, the US State Department spokesman said. 

“And we would expect that Turkey will follow its own democratic procedures in that regard. As I understand it, the parliament has taken up this bill and it’s an ongoing process, and I don’t want to get out ahead of that process right now,” he added.

And again, I’m not going to speak to the specifics of an internal process there inside Turkey,” he emphasized.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called for members of the HDP to face prosecution, accusing them of being an extension of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

In the meantime, Turkish columnist Mustafa Akyol in an article for Hurriyet Daily News wrote that the decision is most likely linked to the Justice and Development Party (AKP) wanting to get the HDP’s seats through a mini-election, after the HDP losing their dozens of seats.

“This is the way the AKP hopes to garner the 14 additional parliamentary seats it needs to make a constitution of its own – a constitution tailor-made for our glorious president,” Akyol wrote on Wednesday. 

Reporting by: Wladimir van Wilgenburg 

Source: ARA News 

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