Turkey: Commission to decide on deputy's case, HDP co-chair warns of "blow to democratic politics"

Turkey: Commission to decide on deputy's case, HDP co-chair warns of "blow to democratic politics"
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HDP co-chair Buldan has said that stripping MP Aydeniz of her parliamentary immunity will be a "coup against the will of the people"

Co-chair of the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) warned that stripping Diyarbakir deputy Saliha Aydeniz of her parliamentary immunity will signify "a blow to democratic politics."

HDP co-chair Pervin Buldan held a press conference on Monday in Istanbul, a day prior to the meeting of a parliamentary commission who will decide whether or not to refer the case of Aydeniz to the General Assembly for a vote.

Aydeniz was recently accused by the prosecution over charges of ‘resisting the police’ and ‘insulting and injuring a public official’, and it is highly likely that she will be stripped of her parliamentary status and immunity by a vote in the Turkish Parliament, where the ruling alliance of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) hold the majority.

Buldan said that the political administration had almost every institution under its thumb, that the parliament was no exception to this, and that it was already obvious that deputies of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), who make up the majority of the commission’s members, would comply with the administration's instructions and refer the case to the General Assembly.

She said:

"So the meeting tomorrow will be a blow to democratic politics. I want to reiterate here that we do not accept and will never accept this coup against the will of the parliament, the will of the peoples, and the will of the people of Diyarbakir."

The prosecution started proceedings against Saliha Aydeniz after she was engaged in a quarrel with police officers and allegedly struck one during an incident on 12 June, when the police attacked a demonstration protesting against the isolation of Abdullah Ocalan, the jailed [former] leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), and arrested dozens of protestors.

The parliamentary immunity of 13 HDP deputies were previously stripped in 2016, and 10 deputies, including co-chairs Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag, were arrested in house raids on 4 and 7 November 2016.

The two former co-chairs and three other former deputies, Idris Baluken, Sebahat Tuncel and Leyla Guven are still incarcerated.