Top court upholds parliament’s decision to strip lawmaker status of 2 HDP members

Top court upholds parliament’s decision to strip lawmaker status of 2 HDP members

Turkey's Constitutional Court ruled Thursday that the parliament decision to strip two Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) members of lawmaker status was in line with the constitution, related law and legislative regulations.

Şırnak lawmaker Aycan İrmez from the pro-PKK HDP previously applied to the court for the annulment of the decision stripping lawmaker status of former Şırnak deputy Faysal Sarıyıldız and Van deputy Tuğba Hezer Öztürk over absenteeism.

The top court's plenary session unanimously confirmed the parliament decision.

Before the parliament's vote on July 27, both Hezer Öztürk and Sarıyıldız had not been attending any parliamentary sessions since October 2016, and they are currently abroad due to 26 pending lawsuits on their ties with the PKK terror organization.

The Parliament's General Assembly voted for the expulsions based on earlier recommendations from a special joint commission. Öztürk lost her seat by a vote of 324-20, while Sarıyıldız lost his by a 328-29 vote.

The parliament previously stripped former HDP co-chair and Van deputy Figen Yüksekdağ and Diyarbakır deputy Nursel Aydoğan of lawmaker status over definitive court rulings on terror charges.