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Turkey: HDP files motion in parliament to lift immunity

The move comes amid allegations that the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) has links with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK)

29.07.2015
Turkey: HDP files motion in parliament to lift immunity

ANKARA

The pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) has submitted a motion in the Turkish Parliament for lifting the immunity of its 80 parliamentarians.

HDP submitted the motion on Thursday after allegations were made against the party for being hands in glove with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Nationalist Movement Party leader Devlet Bahceli suggested on Tuesday that the HDP leader Selahattin Demirtas should be investigated by Turkish courts over an apparent failure to condemn PKK violence.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu had also urged the HDP to "act like a political party and cut ties with the terrorist PKK".

Under Turkish law, members of parliament have immunity from prosecution.

The HDP petition was signed by all of its 80 deputies, party sources said.

Demirtas had announced his party’s unusual move to lift the immunity on Tuesday. “With my 80 friends, we will submit a petition to the parliament to lift our immunity,” he said, adding: “If you are not afraid, let’s lift immunities altogether”.

 

 Complaint filed against Demirtas

Also on Thursday, AK Party Deputy Chairman Suleyman Soylu filed a complaint against HDP leader Demirtas over allegations that the AK Party had prepared a so called cheat team comprising 3,500 members before the June 7 election, whose mission was supposedly to not allow the HDP into parliament.

Demirtas had made the allegations against the AK Party on May 17.

Soylu filed a criminal complaint against the HDP leader through his attorney Ugur Kızılcan.

The Public Prosecutor’s Office ruled that Demirtas had “exceeded the limits of freedom opinion and expression," and called for lifting the lawmaker’s immunity.

The prosecutor’s motion was sent to the Turkish Justice Ministry from where it was expected to be referred to the parliament.

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