Recent report cites HDP deputies' close affiliation with, aiding, abetting PKK

MERVE AYDOĞAN @mgulaydogan
ANKARA
Published 26.06.2016 23:20
Updated 26.06.2016 23:21

Following the approval to lift the parliamentary immunities of party deputies, the Justice Ministry has begun submitting the files of deputies with a summary of proceedings to prosecutors, which include 55 Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) deputies whose dossiers contain serious "terrorism" offenses. According to information obtained by Anadolu Agency, the Chief Public Prosecutor's Office began investigation the 799 dossiers that the Justice Ministry and Parliament prepared on 152 deputies. The files on HDP deputies mainly include terrorism-related charges, including "establishing an organization to commit crimes," "belonging to a terrorist organization," "belonging to an armed terror organization" and "committing crimes on behalf of an organization." HDP Co-Chair Selahattin Demirtaş criticized the prosecution process and said: "I recommend that prosecutors do not send an invitation to us. We won't attend. You will have to force us to attend." It has been reported that he has the most dossiers of all the 152 deputies.

Demirtaş, who has refused to give testimony, has dossiers that largely contain terrorism-related charges, which include "publicly insulting the Republic of Turkey, making propaganda for a terrorist organization and aiding a terrorist organization willingly and intentionally." In September 2015, Demirtaş questioned the counterterror operations in the southeast, saying: "What will you solve by bombing all the provinces, just because a few of the youth took up arms?" and he has many times outspokenly called for demonstrations in the southeast.

Additionally, HDP Co-Chair Figen Yüksekdağ, deputy Pervin Buldan and several other HDP deputies such as Faysal Sarıyıldız, Ferhat Encu, and Tuğba Hezer Öztürk have been accused of terror-related offenses. Yüksekdağ has been the one to most regularly come to Demirtaş's defense and is accused of terror offenses, including "establishing an organization to commit crimes, spreading propaganda for a terrorist organization, praising crime and criminals and attempting to disturb the state's unity and country's sovereignty." Yüksekdağ praised the PKK several times and described it as "a national liberation movement and also an organization that stands for democracy and equality."

Sarıyıldız, Öztürk and Encu's dossiers also include terrorism charges. Sarıyıldız is accused of supplying arms to the PKK in July 2015 and Öztürk for attending a condolence ceremony at the home of Salih Necar, the terrorist who carried out the February suicide car bombing that killed 29 people in Ankara. Encu's files include charges of spreading propaganda and attempting to murder a public servant for conducting his duties as well as entering prohibited military zones.

As of late March, 43 Republican People's Party (CHP), 41 HDP, 22 Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and six Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) deputies had their parliamentary immunity lifted. Many deputies have had multiple cases launched against them.

In the history of the Republic of Turkey, there have been 40 deputies whose legislative immunity was suspended and were prosecuted. In 1994, the parliamentary immunity of seven pro-Kurdish Democracy Party (DEP) deputies was removed due to their direct links to the PKK and "betrayal of the integrity of the state." In 1998, the parliamentary immunity of deputies from the center-right True Path Party (DYP), Sedat Bucak and Mehmet Ağar, was removed due to their involvement in corruption and criminal activities following the Susurluk scandal.

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