Co-chairs of the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag faced increasing pressures on Tuesday, with Demirtas being sentenced to a prison sentence of five months, while Yuksekdag was stripped of her status as a member of parliament ahead of the Turkish presidential referendum in April.
The HDP said that ongoing arrests of its members since the failed coup in July 2016 are part of an attempt by the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to exclude the Kurds from the referendum.
“The revocation of HDP Co-Chair Figen Yüksekdag’s membership in parliament as a fait accompli is unacceptable. The revoking of her position in parliament once again tramples the constitution, and it is an effort to give the government’s political decision the appearance of legality,” the Central Executive Board of the HDP said.
“The Erdogan-AKP government is trying to overcome its own political deadlock as well as Turkey’s social and economic crisis by violating the law and attacking the HDP. It has become clear that the Erdogan-AKP government will not be able to attain the referendum results they expect within the context of this crisis, so they are once again resorting to the same foul methods they’ve used in the past,” the HDP said.
“This mentality, which sees all manner of breaking the law as legitimate, continues to make preparations for a state of lawlessness following the referendum,” the HDP added.
According to the HDP, the revoking of its co-chair Figen Yüksekdag’s MP status is an attempt to intimidate the party and the Kurdish people.
“We have not knelt down or given in against these attacks until this day. Just to spite those who try to intimidate us with repression, police custodies and arrests, we will continue to say ‘NO’ with full force. We continue our struggle with our co-chair Figen Yüksekdağ’s words ‘We will still not give in! We will be the bane, the curse, the end of the coup-dictate regime’. We will definitely be the ones who will win,” the HDP said.
Turkey is expected to hold a referendum on a stronger presidency on April 16. The Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the HDP oppose the referendum and are campaigning for a ‘no vote’, while the ultranationalist Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and Erdogan’s AKP are in favour of a yes vote.
Reporting by: Wladimir van Wilgenburg | Source: ARA News
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