16 May 2019:
Presidency dossiers on the immunity of 21 deputies, including HDP co-chairpersons Pervin Buldan and Sezai Temelli and the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Istanbul deputy Saliha Sera Kadıgil were presented to the Turkish Parliamentary Speaker's Office.
Buldan along with HDP Ağrı deputy Berdan Öztürk and HDP Diyarbakır deputy Remziye Tosun have three dossiers while two dossiers were submitted for HDP's Istanbul deputy Ahmet Şık, Şırnak deputy Nuran İmir, Van deputy Murat Sarısaç and Diyarbakır deputies Musa Farisoğulları, Salihe Aydeniz and Dersim Dağ.
Erdogan's office asks to strip opposition leaders, 19 MPs of immunity
The office of Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday demanded from the country’s Parliament to strip the leaders of the main and Kurdish opposition parties of immunity along with 19 other lawmakers, to pave the way for potential prosecution.
The move comes only a week after the European Court of Human Rights, which Turkey is a party to, ruled that Ankara was unjustly and politically holding Kurdish leader Selahattin Demirtas in detention for two years and that authorities had to release him.
It is also the latest in a far-reaching crackdown on the opposition, Kurdish movement, and civil society that has over the past two years seen the jailing of up to 150,000 people, 50,000 of them now political prisoners.
The Presidency has sent the parliament 43 files containing criminal charges against the Co-chair of pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), Pervin Buldan, leader of the largest opposition bloc, the Republican People's Party (CHP), Kemal Kilicdaroglu, and other MPs from their respective parties, the state media reported.
If approved by a majority of lawmakers, they will have to face the charges by prosecutors, and also appear in front of courts that could land them in jail—as was the case with Demirtas and a dozen other now-former lawmakers from the previous parliament.
It was not immediately clear what the accusations against them were.
However, earlier reports this month by the pro-government media wrote that charges against the opposition politicians varied from “terrorist membership, terrorist propaganda to insulting the President,” based on their speeches.
Both Buldan and Kilicdaroglu are members of the national assembly which is dominated by Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its junior far-right ally Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), the number of whose lawmakers suffices to purge their rivals.
Among HDP MPs targeted by the latest move from Erdogan’s administration are Feleknas Uca and Ayse Acar Basaran of Batman, Dirayet Dilan Tasdemir and Berdan Ozturk of Agri, Nimetullah Erdogmus of Sanliurfa, Ayhan Bilgen of Kars, Bedia Ozgokce Ertan of Van, Imam Tascier and Garo Paylan of Diyarbakir, Mahmut Togrul of Gaziantep, and Filiz Kerestecioglu Demir of Ankara.
Those from the CHP who may lose parliamentary immunity from prosecution are Mehmet Goker of Burdur, Okan Gaytancioglu of Edirne, Mustafa Sezgin Tanrikulu, Mahmut Tanal, and Aykut Erdogdu of Istanbul, Kadim Durmaz of Tokat, Cetin Osman Budak of Antalya. Source
The Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office on Tuesday filed motions against four pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputies, including the party’s co-chair Pervin Buldan, for conducting “terrorist propaganda,” independent news site T24 reported.
A motion was filed against Buldan for her speech in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır on June 21; Diyarbakır deputy İmam Taşçıer for his social media posts on May 24 and speeches he delivered in the same province on Sept. 8 and 9;
The motions demand the removal of the deputies’ immunity from prosecution, T24 said.
Ankara accuses HDP’s politicians of harbouring sympathies and acting in the interest of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), an armed group that has been in war in Turkey for over 30 years.
Almost one in three members of Turkey’s top Kurdish political party have been detained since the ceasefire between Kurdish militants and the Turkish state collapsed in July 2015.
Prosecutors file to lift immunity from 15 opposition deputies
A prosecutor’s office in Turkey’s capital city of Ankara has filed requests to lift the parliamentary immunity of 15 opposition deputies, Turkish news site Diken said on Friday, citing a report from the Turkish state-run Anadolu Agency.
The prosecutor wishes to take press charges on 12 deputies from the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) for allegedly creating propaganda for terrorists, and three from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) for insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) government has piled constant pressure on the HDP since it became the first pro-Kurdish party to win enough votes to break the country’s 10 per cent electoral threshold in the June 2015 elections.
Shortly after the elections, a peace process broke down between the AKP and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), a terrorist-designated armed group that has fought for Kurdish self-rule in Turkey since the 1980s.
The charges against the 12 HDP deputies are related to statements made criticising Turkey’s Operation Olive Branch, a military assault launched in January this year against Syrian-Kurdish groups linked to the PKK in northwest Syria. They also refer to political statements made on International Women’s Day on March 8.
Dozens of high-profile HDP politicians and activists have faced legal action since 2015 due to their alleged links to the PKK, including two of the party’s former co-chairs, Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ.
The CHP politicians have been accused of “insulting the president,” a crime with a maximum four-year prison sentence according to the Turkish constitution, which does not clearly define what constitutes an insult. Erdoğan has launched around 2,000 legal cases against Turkish citizens, including schoolchildren, for alleged insults.
The Turkish parliament decided to make it possible to lift politicians’ parliamentary immunity in a controversial vote in May 2016.
CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu may have come to regret backing the vote, which has seen several of his party’s deputies and prominent figures sentenced, including Istanbul deputy Enis Berberoğlu.
The HDP politicians facing the latest round of legal problems are Ayhan Bilgen, Ayşe Acar Başaran, Alican Önlü, Berdan Öztürk, Bedia Özgökçe Ertan, Feleknas Uca, Filiz Keresteci, Kemal Bülbül, Meral Danış Beştaş, İmam Taşçıer, Nimetullah Erdoğmuş and Pervin Buldan.
On the CHP side, Çetin Osman Budak, Erdin Bircan and Aykut Erdoğdu face charges. Source
A case was launched against Taşdemir and Öztürk after they attended the funeral ceremonies of five individuals who were claimed to be militants of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Erzurum in 2016.
The HDP deputies were tried at the Erzurum 2nd High Criminal Court on charges of disseminating the propaganda of a terrorist organization, with the deputies facing a jail sentence of up to five years. The indictment said that during the funeral services Taşdemir made remarks such as “Kurds will rule themselves from now on” and “The Kurdish people will never bow to pressure.”
While Taşdemir was given a 20-month suspended sentence for the remarks, Öztürk was acquitted of the charges. Many HDP deputies including the party’s former chairpersons and HDP officials are currently behind bars.
20 Nov. 2017
“As the Interior Ministry we have filed a criminal complaint about HDP deputies who attended the Diyarbakır funeral of Hülya Eroğlu, code-named ‘Delal Amed,’ who was one of the so-called executives of the PKK-KCK separatist terrorist organization and whose name was on a red list,” a statement from the ministry read on Nov. 19.
The Diyarbakır Chief Prosecutor’s office stated that a criminal investigation was launched into HDP Diyarbakır deputies Feleknas Uca, Sibel Yiğitalp and Berdan Öztürk on Nov. 18 for attending the funeral, which took place on the same day.
It added that a further complaint was filed on Nov. 19 against Ağrı deputy Berdan Öztürk, Van deputy Nadir Yıldırım and Muş deputy Ahmet Yıldırım, as well as “other attendants,” for paying a condolence visit to a funeral house in Diyarbakır.
The prosecutor’s office stated that “the investigation will continue in line with further findings.” Source
16 March 2017
18 Sep. 2017 - HDP holds 'justice rally' in Diyarbakır
18 Sep. 2017
Two more members of parliament of Turkey’s main the pro-Kurdish opposition, the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), have been removed from their posts, bringing the total number of HDP parliamentarians to have lost their jobs to 11, alternative news source Bianet said .
Selma Irmak and Osman Baydemir were relieved of their duties on Thursday after being convicted of terror organisation membership and insulting the police respectively.
The HDP, the third biggest party after 2015, elections now only has 48 seats in parliament. Its members left the chamber in protest.
Figen Yüksekdağ, Nursel Aydoğan, Besime Konca, Ferhat Encü, İbrahim Ayhan and Ahmet Yıldırım lost their seats due to criminal convictions, and Faysal Sarıyıldız, Tuğba Hezer Öztürk and Leyla Zana due to absenteeism while in police detention. Source