Turkey’s prime minister applied to parliament on Wednesday to lift the immunity of senior pro-Kurdish opposition deputies to prosecute them on charges of belonging to an armed terrorist group.
Such a step could further inflame tensions in the mainly Kurdish southeast which has been hit by the worst violence in two decades since a two-year Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) ceasefire collapsed in July.
President Tayyip Erdogan has repeatedly called for Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputies to face prosecution, accusing them of being an extension of the PKK. Lawmakers in Turkey are normally protected from prosecution.
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu’s office filed a submission requesting immunity from prosecution be lifted from HDP co-leaders Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag and deputies Selma Irmak, Sirri Sureyya Onder and Ertugrul Kurkcu, parliament officials told Reuters.
They deny the accusation of belonging to an armed terrorist organization and provoking hatred.
“The attitudes of those who exploit ‘podium immunity’ and offend the shared conscience cannot be assessed within (the framework of) immunity,” Davutoglu told reporters.
The Kurdish conflict in NATO Turkey has been further complicated by the activity of armed Kurdish groups across the border in Syria. Syrian Kurds have been a close ally of the United States in fighting ISIS but Ankara regards them as a partner of the PKK and a terrorist grouping.
Demirtas alone is the subject some 60 dossiers in parliament calling for the lifting of his immunity, including some related to calls for protest marches. As yet, there have been no moves in the assembly to open the way for his prosecution.
نستخدم ملفات الكوكيز لنسهل عليك استخدام مواقعنا الإلكترونية ونكيف المحتوى والإعلانات وفقا لمتطلباتك واحتياجاتك الخاصة، لتوفير ميزات وسائل التواصل الاجتماعية ولتحليل حركة المرور لدينا...اعرف أكثر