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Selahattin put HDP Majors & MPs at risk of imprisonment

PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2016 12:24 am
Author: Anthea
Turkish opposition leader speaks out as MPs debate legal immunity law

President Erdoğan would use law stripping parliamentarians of immunity to target opposition MPs, warns pro-Kurdish HDP’s Selahattin Demirtaş

A push by the Turkish government to strip parliamentarians of their immunity is a clear attempt by the president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, to target opposition MPs and risks inflaming tensions in an already highly polarised country, the co-chair of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic party (HDP) has said.

Turkey’s parliament will begin to debate the contentious draft law – which was proposed by Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development party (AKP) – on Tuesday, with a final vote expected on Friday.

“The [proposed bill] will have a very negative impact on Turkey, and it is very clear that the attempt to strip MPs of immunity targets us,” Selahattin Demirtaş, the HDP co-chair, told the Guardian in an interview, warning that there was “a serious risk” of violence increasing in the country as a result.

“Democratic political channels in Turkey are already in great difficulty, and if the bill passes, many people will feel that these channels have been shut completely. The belief in democracy and politics of peace will drop to zero.”

The HDP – a party largely representing Kurds but also encompassing leftwing liberals which emerged on the national political landscape last year – opposes the bill, which aims to remove legislators’ immunity in legal cases.

The party argues that it is mainly designed to push its members out of parliament to strengthen Erdoğan’s ambition of an executive presidency. If passed, the bill would affect about 50 of the 59 HDP deputies.

Erdoğan and the AKP have repeatedly called for HDP parliamentarians to be prosecuted for “terrorism” and accused the party of being the political arm of the Kurdistan Workers’ party (PKK) – a charge the HDP, which backs Kurdish and other minority rights, vehemently rejects.

The government’s push comes amid a surge of violence in the predominantly Kurdish south-east of the country, the worst Turkey has seen in two decades.

“If parliamentary politics are closed down, people will turn towards other ways [to make themselves heard],” said Demirtaş, adding that efforts to revive the peace process were already strained by government policies in the south-east.

“It is already difficult to speak of peace in a time when Kurds are under such immense pressure. Many of our voters are giving up on hopes of peace, and some youngsters want me to use harsher language against a state they believe is only interested in war.

“There is a serious risk that violence will increase, and there is already way too much of it in Turkey. But if immunity is lifted and [HDP MPs] are arrested, the youngsters who support our party will lose all hope in democratic politics.”

Hundreds have been killed and towns have been left in ruins since a ceasefire between Ankara and the outlawed PKK fell apart last July, shattering a tentative three-year peace process and reviving a conflict that has killed more than 40,000 people since it began in 1984.

While the HDP is staunchly opposed to the bill, both the main opposition Republican People’s party (CHP) and the Nationalist Movement party (MHP) voted in favour of it being sent to parliament this month.

At least 11 CHP deputies, including party leaders Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu and Sezgin Tanrıkulu, face legal proceedings over “insults” to the president. Members of the AKP and the MHP might also face court cases if the bill is passed.

Under current legislation, Turkish lawmakers are immune from all prosecution while in office, but prosecutors can file police proceedings, or “dossiers”, against deputies that can lead to court cases once they leave parliament.

Tanrıkulu, a human rights lawyer as well as a deputy, underlined that the constitution should be changed and parliamentarians made accountable for their actions, but that such a change should not be used to muzzle freedom of speech.

“The current article on parliamentary immunity is wrong,” he said. “But MPs absolutely must have the right to free speech and to freedom of expression, both inside and outside of parliament. Immunity needs to be lifted for all other crimes committed by lawmakers, and that is what needs to be changed, but not in the way proposed by the government.”

As the vote will be held by secret ballot, many expect a majority of CHP legislators to vote against the contentious bill. Tanrıkulu said there was a good chance the draft law would fall short of the 367 votes needed to be passed directly by the 550-seat assembly. The bill will go to a referendum if it wins 330 votes, but Demirtaş said he doubted this would happen.

“It is difficult to predict the outcome, because there are large numbers of parliamentarians who are uncomfortable with the bill, especially in the CHP, but also in the MHP and even in the AKP,” Demirtaş said. “I believe that many realise that it would be disastrous, that the bill would be political suicide for Turkey.”

However, he underlined that he would keep pushing for the peace process to be revived, even if he had to face prosecution and prison.

“If I have to go to jail I will continue to work for peace from there, I will continue to spread the HDP’s message from there,” Demirtaş said. “I believe that I can do that. Erdoğan will regret that he had me arrested, and he will do everything to get me out, because I know that I will be even more efficient from jail.” ... CMP=twt_gu

Re: President Erdoğan would use law stripping immunity

PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2016 1:28 am
Author: Anthea
Leyla Zana, is a Kurdish politician, who was imprisoned for 10 years for her political activism, which was deemed by the Turkish courts to be against the unity of the country

Born: May 3, 1961 (age 55), Silvan, Diyarbakır, Turkey

Although Zana's parliamentary immunity protected her, after she joined the Democracy Party, that party was banned and her immunity was stripped.

In December 1994, along with four other Democracy Party MPs (Hatip Dicle, Selim Sadak and Orhan Dogan), she was arrested and charged with treason and membership in the armed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

The treason charges were not put before the court, and Zana denied PKK affiliation; but with the prosecution relying on witness statements allegedly obtained under torture, Zana and the others were sentenced to 15 years in prison. At her sentencing, she asserted,

This is a conspiracy. What I am defending is perfectly clear. I don’t accept any of these accusations. And, if they were true I’d assume responsibility for them, even if it cost me my life. I have defended democracy, human rights, and brotherhood between peoples. And I’ll keep doing so for as long as I live.[3]

Books: Writings from Prison

Political parties: Democratic Society Party (2005–2009), Peoples' Democratic Party (2014–)
Awards: Sakharov Prize, Thorolf Rafto Memorial Prize, Bruno Kreisky Prize for Services to Human Rights

Remzi Kartal, He was a founding member of the first Kurdish party HEP in 1991.

Born 05.05.48,

When Kurdish MP's were imprisoned by the Turkish government in 1994 after Leyla Zana's address to the Turkish Assembly while wearing a Kurdish colours headband, Remzi Kartal was a member of the Turkish Assembly as a lawmaker for Van and member of the now banned Kurdish party, DEP. (HEP was the predecessor of DEP and was also banned)

Remzi Kartal facing imprisonment too for trumped up politically motivated charges went into exile to continue the diplomatic work of the Kurdish Movement and became the executive member of the Kurdistan Parliament in Exile (1995) and then Kurdistan National Congress. (1999)

Later he was to become the chair of Kongra Gel, the legislative assembly of the KCK, thus Remzi Kartal is the highest representative of the Kurdish political movement in Europe.

Re: Selahattin Demirtaş put HDP and fellow MPs at risk

PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2016 2:52 am
Author: Anthea
Several Kurdish political parties have come and gone

When the HDP started, Kurds though that they finally had a party to represent them but sadly, that was not to be

With the full knowledge of what had happened to previous Kurdish political parties and such well-known politicians as Leya Zana, Remzi Kartel and others

Selahattin Demirtaş and other HDP politicians openly and on many occasions, showed a connection between themselves and members the banned PKK

By their actions, the leaders of HDP have let down fellow MPs and the Kurdish population

HDP's inappropriate actions may well have violet repercussions on the entire North Kurdistan region

Prior to the recent events HDP was already starting to lose support from among the Kurdish population

HDP have been tying to discourage Kurds from seeking independence - this is NOT why so many thousands of Kurds became freedom fighters

Thousands of Kurds fought and died fighting for an Independent Kurdistan

By denying Kurds a chance of Independence HDP show disrespect for all those brave fighters

Kurds in the South will have independence

Kurds in the West will have independence

Kurds in the North will WANT independence NOT Turkish brothers

Re: Selahattin Demirtaş put HDP and fellow MPs at risk

PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2016 11:37 am
Author: Anthea
Turkey prosecutors seek five years in jail for pro-Kurdish party leader

Turkish prosecutors are seeking five-year jail sentences for head of the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), Selahattin Demirtas, and another pro-Kurdish lawmaker for spreading "terrorist group propaganda", Dogan news agency said on Friday.

The prosecution, one of many looming against HDP lawmakers since their parliamentary immunity from prosecution was lifted in May, could fuel tensions in the mainly Kurdish southeast which has been hit by conflict for more than a year.

The indictment accuses Demirtas and HDP deputy Sirri Sureyya Onder of praising the militant Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and its jailed leader Abdullah Ocalan in speeches they made in 2013, when a peace process between Ankara and the PKK was underway.

The 2-1/2 year ceasefire collapsed in July 2015 and since then violence in the southeast has returned to levels not seen since the height of the fighting in the 1990s.

President Tayyip Erdogan, who accuses the HDP of being a political extension of the PKK, was the driving force behind parliament's move to lift the immunity of many HDP deputies, along with the immunity of MPs from other parties.

The HDP denies direct links with the autonomy-seeking PKK and promotes a negotiated end to the insurgency that has killed 40,000 people, mostly Kurds. The PKK is designated as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the European Union and the United States. ... SKCN10N0YE

Re: Selahattin Demirtaş put HDP and fellow MPs at risk

PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2016 11:54 am
Author: Anthea
The HDP denies direct links with the autonomy-seeking PKK

During recent years Selahattin Demirtaş has become an egomaniac - he has completely forgotten he is co-chair of what was originally supposed to be an independent Kurdish political party

Personally I never believed it to be independent but many Kurds did ;)

Selahattin Demirtaş has chaired rallies for Ocalan - read out letters from Ocalan - visited Ocalan - visited PKK leaders in the mountains - had meeting with PKK leaders in Europe - there is absolutely no way that Selahattin Demirtaş is not connected to the PKK

Selahattin Demirtaş has let down the Kurds who supported him and put HDP and fellow MPs at risk - he deserves to be locked up :ymparty:

Re: Selahattin Demirtaş put HDP and fellow MPs at risk

PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2016 4:34 am
Author: Anthea
Turkey-PKK: Clashes as Turkey removes 28 elected mayors

Clashes have broken out in parts of south-eastern Turkey after 28 elected mayors in largely Kurdish towns were removed from office.

They were removed using an emergency law that came into force earlier this month following July's failed coup.

The mayors are being replaced by trustees appointed by the government.

Tens of thousands of people have been purged from government jobs since the coup, accused of links to terrorist organisations.

Some 200 people were dispersed by tear gas and water cannon after gathering outside the city hall in Suruc, the private Dogan news agency reports.

Four people, including a deputy mayor, were detained after a skirmish in Hakkari province, Dogan said.

Some Turkish media reports said that the internet and electricity had been cut off in the affected cities.

Turkey's Anadolu Agency said that, 24 of the removed mayors are suspected of links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

Another four are thought to be linked to Fethullah Gulen, the US-based cleric accused by the government of being behind the coup attempt.

"Mayors and town councillors, who come to power through elections, must perform their duties according to the law," Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag wrote on Twitter.

"If [they] finance terrorism by transferring public funds allocated to them to serve the people, and allow the use of municipal vehicles, equipment and capabilities in terrorist activities, they lose their democratic legitimacy."

The pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), whose mayors were principally affected, condemned the move as "coup by trustees".

"This unlawful and arbitrary action will only deepen the existing problems in Kurdish towns and cause the Kurdish issue to be even more unsolvable."

Tens of thousands of people have died in a decades-long insurgency by the PKK, who want more self-rule for Kurdish people.

Meanwhile, the Turkish Nobel-winning writer Orhan Pamuk has said Turkey is becoming a "regime of terror".

He was writing in Italy's La Republicca newspaper in response to the arrest on Saturday of leading journalist Ahmet Altan and his brother Mehmet, a renowned economist.

"In Turkey, we are progressively putting behind bars all people who take the liberty of voicing even the slightest criticism of the government," he wrote.

He said the crackdown was being driven by "the most ferocious hatred".

"Freedom of thought no longer exists. We are distancing ourselves at high speed from a state of law and heading towards a regime of terror."

Re: Selahattin Demirtaş put HDP and fellow MPs at risk

PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2016 4:38 am
Author: Anthea
Turkey's removal of 28 HDP elected mayors has nothing to do with the coup

Below is an extract from my post in this thread dated: Wed May 18, 2016
- well before any hint of a coup

When the HDP started, Kurds though that they finally had a party to represent them but sadly, that was not to be

With the full knowledge of what had happened to previous Kurdish political parties and such well-known politicians as Leya Zana, Remzi Kartel and others

Selahattin Demirtaş and other HDP politicians openly and on many occasions, showed a connection between themselves and members the banned PKK leadership

By their actions, the leaders of HDP have let down fellow MPs and the Kurdish population

HDP's inappropriate actions may well have violet repercussions on the entire North Kurdistan region

The arrests of HDP Mayors is totally due to the actions of Selahattin Demirtaş and some of his friends by using the HDP as a platform for the PKK - openly supporting Ocalan and the PKK - which caused the Turkish government to remove HDP parliamentary immunity from prosecution in May this year (before the coup)

Not all HDP MPs/Mayors have been in favour of Selahattin Demirtaş's and other leaders connection/support of the PKK and though you will probably find little if anything written about it - there is in fact a rift within the HDP between those naive enough to believe the HDP should be a truly independent political party and those who saw it as an extension of the PKK :ymsigh:

Re: Selahattin Demirtaş put HDP and fellow MPs at risk

PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2019 12:09 am
Author: Anthea
Turkey removes Kurdish
mayors over alleged PKK ties

Three mayors in Kurdish cities were removed from office Monday due to alleged Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) ties

The Turkish Ministry of the Interior announced that the elected mayors of the three largest Kurdish cities in southeast Turkey, Diyarbakir, Van and Mardin, are being removed under the auspices of using their positions to support the PKK. They have been replaced by government-appointed officials.

"Mayors who are in contact with terrorist organizations and there is evidence they support terrorist organizations have been removed from office,” the ministry said in a statement.

The three mayors were elected in the most recent local elections held on March 31. They were from the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP). In that election, Diyarbakır Mayor Adnan Mızraklı received 63 percent of the vote, Mardin Mayor Ahmet Turk received 56 percent, and Van Mayor Bedia Özgökçe received 54 percent. Other HDP politicians were arrested as well on Monday.

The HDP condemned the removals and arrests.

    This morning 418 politicians from #HDP & componenet parties taken into custody. The number is rising. Pro-goverment media call it "anti-terror operation" for criminalization against the Kurds. It is clear that, the Erdoğan's Regime doesn't respect the people' will!
    — HDP Foreign Affairs (@hdpdiplomacy) August 19, 2019
Per the new changes, the mayoral responsibilities for Diyarbakir, Mardin and Van will be assumed by Diyarbakır Governor Hasan Basri Güzeloğlu, Mardin Governor Mustafa Yaman and Van Governor Mehmet Emin Bilmez, respectively.

“(PKK) has used the powers of some mayors to gain its illegal objectives,” the Ministry of the Interior said of the mayors.

A total of 418 people were arrested in the roundup, according to both the ministry and the HDP.

An Istanbul MP from the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) came to the HDP's defense.

"A coup is not only carried out by tanks, bombs and rifles," said Sezgin Tanrikulu on Twitter. "The removal of the elected mayors of Diyarbakir, Mardin and Van a violation of law and it is also a blow to the political choices of people."

A CHP spokesman said it is voters who should decide when the mayors leave office.

"This is a political and illegal decision," Faik Oztrak said at a press conference in Ankara. "Those elected through polling boxes should go only through polling boxes."

Former president of Turkey Abdullah Gul criticized the removal of the mayors as well.

"The removal of those mayors 'in this way' who have recently been elected is not a right thing for our democracy," he tweeted.

Van Governor Bilmez told the Turkish news agency DHA that he is prepared to lead the city.

"We will establish a transparent governance to offer best possible services to our nation," he said.

Bilmez also said that the deposed Van mayor had removed a portrait of Mustafa Kamal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey, from the mayor's office.

"We are now putting it back," he said.

The removals triggered protests staged by HDP supporters in Diyarbakir. Security forces responded by using water cannons against civilians.

This is the second time that HDP mayors of Kurdish cities have experienced a state crackdown over alleged terror links. In the wake of the failed military coup in 2016, HDP mayors were sacked from their posts and replaced by mayors from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP).

The Turkish government blamed the deadly coup attempt on the cleric Fethullah Gulen, who lives in exile in the US.

The HDP denounced the coup attempt, but this did not save it from government blowback, which included the imprisonment of thousands of HDP members and supporters, including their then co-chairs Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag, members of parliament, and mayors. ... y/19082019

Sadly, after more than 3 years, Kurdish mayors are still suffering due to Selahattin Demirtaş open support of the PKK X(

Re: Selahattin Demirtaş put HDP and fellow MPs at risk

PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2019 1:12 am
Author: Anthea
Lawyers in Amed protest the
seizure of HDP municipalities

Lawyers for Freedom Association protested the usurpation of HDP municipalities in Amed, Mardin and Van on August 19. HDP MPs also attended the demonstration

The press briefing read at the demonstration protested the appointment of trustees to the usurped municipalities and the detention of hundreds of people. The statement is as follows:

“With the usurpation of the people’s will and the midnight raids, the intention to continue the state of emergency practices in our cities has been exposed once again. These practices are not new. In 2016, trustees had been appointed to almost all HDP municipalities. In the March 2019 local elections, the people went to the polls against the intimidation and annihilation policies imposed upon them and put forth their will once again. The government couldn’t tolerate that and, in a disregard for the law, imposed policies against the Kurdish people again.

The state has been using current laws not in the name of democracy and justice but to their own interest, as such, cannot be defined as a state of law. We lawyers, for this exact reason, are aware that it is a responsibility for us to speak up so a democratic state of law can be established.

Because the government, starting with the state of emergency they declared, has been using the law as an instrument as they try to construct a regime. They have also continued to pillage the natural environment, implement sexist policies and arrest social opposition. The situation in recent days is a product of this policy.

These policies have targeted the co-mayorship institution that was implemented as a positive discrimination practice to ensure women’s inclusion in politics. The state has thus attempted to prevent women acting as political subjects.

Considering everything, we see that the law in practice has become just a tool to serve the government. As such, we as the Lawyers for Freedom Association say these injustices must end at once through the establishment of a social peace and that the law must serve democracy and justice. We repeat that the will of the people cannot be confiscated.”

Re: Selahattin Demirtaş put HDP and fellow MPs at risk

PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2019 9:37 pm
Author: Anthea
Turkey takes step backwards
by removing HDP mayors

Just five months after they were elected, Erdogan’s government removed the mayors of Turkey’s three largest Kurdish cities this week and replaced them with state-appointed sycophants

    The “trustee” mayors that the state appoints in place of the elected mayors come from the ranks of Mr. Erdogan’s “Justice and Development” Party (the AKP), living in fortified compounds and riding to work in armored cars. They use municipal funds to lavishly decorate their offices and busily undo the work of the elected mayors, banning Kurdish street names and removing bilingual services in “their” cities.
The mayors of Diyarbakir, Mardin and Van will probably join some one hundred pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) mayors from the previous election who were removed by the state and put behind bars. The Turkish state prosecutes and removes them based on extremely vaguely worded “anti-terrorism” laws.

According to Human Rights Watch, “Abusive prosecutions and investigations for overly broad and vague terrorism offenses are widely used in Turkey to silence and arbitrarily detain government critics, journalists, human rights defenders, and opposition politicians.”

    The mayors dismissed this week had not even been convicted of anything, but rather had charges of “terrorism” levelled against them by the state. The charges, according to Turkey’s Ministry of the Interior, included “renaming local streets and parks after imprisoned PKK members and offering jobs to the relatives of militants.”
Turkey’s anti-terrorism laws remain so vague that the state can go after virtually anyone it wishes. Intentional or unintentional “support for terrorist organizations” can, under this regime, include advocating for the legalization of the Kurdish language in various venues, calling for an end to state-Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) fighting, or criticizing Turkish invasions of Syria. If the PKK called for any of these things, Turkish judges reason, then anyone else calling for the same is guilty of “spreading terrorist propaganda.”

Even other Turkish opposition leaders, such as the recently elected Republican People’s Party (CHP) mayors of Istanbul and Ankara, can face terrorism charges for publicly criticizing the removal of HDP mayors. In true fascist style, they may be next.

Journalists from Britain’s The Independent newspaper asked Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu “…whether those officials voicing support for the ousted mayors could also be accused of sympathy for terrorist groups.” He reportedly responded, “To what extent should mayors engage in political commentary? My advice to them is, they should mind their business and should not make ridiculous comments about things they don’t understand.”

Apparently even former AKP high level leaders, who were ousted by Erdogan after they became too popular, this time felt the need to “comment about things they don’t understand”: Ahmet Davutoglu and Abdullah Gul joined the European Union, a plethora of human rights organizations and other opposition parties such as the CHP in criticizing the ouster of the mayors as “anti-democratic.”

The mayors of Mardin, Diyarbakir and Van won 63%, 56% and 53% of the votes in their cities last March. A regime that cannot bear to let such municipal electoral results stand is weak, not strong. As Mr. Erdogan and his government’s popularity wanes, the need to polarize society and stoke nationalist fears grows. Overturning the will of the people in Kurdish parts of the country effectively closes one of the pressure valves there, legitimizing the rhetoric of the PKK about “armed struggle” being the only option left. The resulting simmering conflict sees conservative and nationalist voters support parties promising “strong action against terrorism.”

While this may work well for Mr. Erdogan and his nationalist coalition partner’s electoral strategy, it bodes ill for Turkey in general. A more confident regime in Ankara would let the HDP opposition have some municipalities in the poverty-stricken Kurdish southeast of the country. A few Kurdish street names and a few parks named after PKK militants is not the end of the world.

Nor is the HDP the same as the PKK. Although both are majority Kurdish and pro-Kurdish, the former wishes to pursue the rights of Kurds and other minorities legally and from within the political system. Denying them that option only empowers the latter.

Re: Selahattin put HDP Majors & MPs at risk of imprisonment

PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2019 11:29 pm
Author: Anthea
Amed resistance on day 7:
HDP members gather again

HDP (Peoples' Democratic Party) has been protesting the usurpation of municipalities in Amed since August 19

On day 7, the crowd gathered on the Lise avenue included HDP MPs Dersim Dag, Saliha Aydeniz, Ayse Acar Basaran, Semra Guzel, Hisyar Ozsoy, Garo Paylan, Musa Farisogullari, Imam Tasci and Nimetullah Erdogmus.

TJA activists, DBP members, city council members and Halkevleri co-chair Nuri Gunay were also present. Usurped Amed metropolitan municipality’s Co-mayor Selcuk Mizrakli arrived soon after, and was greeted with chants from the crowd.

HDP has been protesting since August 19 when three municipalities were confiscated. Garo Paylan spoke in Saturday’s press statement and said, “Erdogan and Bahceli are following the path of Talat Pasha, who was responsible for the Armenian Genocide, which was what tore down the Ottoman empire and put Anatolia through a calamity. They continue down the same path.”

Paylan said: “When the Istanbul elections were cancelled, we didn’t stand with CHP and Imamoglu because we love them so much, we as the HDP stood with them for democracy. If Turkey and the world won’t speak up against the trustees, Erdogan will continue to commit crimes. All politicians are in danger. We stand strong in Amed, and we will send the trustee away. Everybody must speak up against the trustees.”

Police blockade around the municipality also continues. HDP’s Amed, Mardin and Van municipalities had been confiscated by regime forces on August 19, and trustees were appointed in the place of co-mayors. In parallel, over 400 people were detained in house raids.

Re: Selahattin put HDP Majors & MPs at risk of imprisonment

PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2019 2:36 am
Author: Anthea
42 detained as Ankara police
attack protesters for HDP

Demonstrations continue in protest at the AKP regime’s usurpation of HDP-run metropolitan municipalities in Amed (Diyarbakır), Mardin and Van through the removal of democratically elected mayors and appointment of trustees in their place

Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Ankara branch and democratic forces organised a demonstration at the busiest Sakarya Square to protest the seizure of municipalities.

After riot police surrounded the crowd, the police chief said that no demonstration would be allowed at the square and threatened to intervene in the event that they didn’t disperse.

In response to the police chief who told the HDP group they could make their press statement only in HDP offices, HDP provincial branch co-chair Zeyno Bayramoğlu said that they were using their democratic right.

Police attacked the HDP group when they refused to disperse and detained many people including HDP administrators. While the detainees were violently battered and dragged on the ground, journalists were prevented from covering the crackdown and challenged attempts of detention.

After the detention of demonstrators, police laid a siege in the area and moved away everyone around using their shields.

Sociologist and activist Veli Saçılık, who lost one of his arms in the "Operation Return to Life" against political prisoners in December 2000, was also battered and detained as he loudly protested the police brutality. 22 people were detained during the police attack at Sakarya Square.

On the other hand, another group that gathered in front of Çankaya Municipality to protest the seizure of HDP municipalities, were also attacked by the police who detained 20 people.

Those taken into custody in Ankara today include HDP provincial branch co-chair Zeyno Bayramoğlu, HDK (Peoples’ Democratic Congress) provincial branch co-spokesperson Fatma Kılıçarslan and HDP provincial administrator Betül Koca.

Re: Selahattin put HDP Majors & MPs at risk of imprisonment

PostPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2019 7:36 pm
Author: Anthea
If the HDP leaves parliament
Erdogan will be very happy

Turkey’s pro-Kurdish party weighing withdrawal from parliament

Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) is discussing whether its lawmakers and mayors should collectively resign their posts amid the Turkish government’s intensified crackdown against the party, BBC Turkish reported on Saturday.

The Turkish government replaced four district mayors of the HDP on Saturday over alleged terror links, brining the number of HDP mayors removed since the March local polls to 24.

The discussions on social media over withdrawal from parliament and other posts have gained traction after the lawyer of the jailed former HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş, Mahsuni Karaman, said on Twitter pointed to resignations as an option.

Demirtaş and the party’s other former co-chair, Figen Yüksekdağ, have been behind bars since 2016.

Karaman later said that his comments did not mean a call for collective resignation.

Meanwhile, the party plans to decide on a joint stance over the issue in a meeting on Nov. 20 and share it with the public in a declaration, BBC Turkish said.

The Turkish government accuses the HDP of harbouring sympathies and acting in the interest of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). The HDP denies any links.

The HDP became the first pro-Kurdish political party to pass Turkey’s 10 percent electoral threshold in June 2015, and has held on to gain representation in parliament in each election since.

The party’s executives are not leaning towards the option of withdrawal from the parliament and mayorships, BBC Turkish said, adding that only 10 percent of HDP supporters back the option according to surveys made by the party.

But the party’s supporters also criticise the party for being largely ineffective in objecting to the removal of mayors, with 60 percent finding the response to the government’s moves unsatisfactory, Mezopotamya news agency said citing a recent poll.

The party’s spokesman Günay Kubilay told reporters on Friday that the HDP had not been discussing a move like collective resignation, adding that intellectuals supporting the party had been suggesting it as an option.

“It is one of the ways of struggle. The HDP is not a party that would, ignore such proposals , turn a deaf ear to them due to its pluralist structure and radical democracy approach,” Kubilay said.

“There are many suggestions and opinions including withdrawal and partial withdrawal,” HDP co-chair Sezai Temelli told BBC Turkish. “A study that will fulfil everybody’s expectations both strategically and politically and that will shape the future period has been ongoing,” he said. ... mayorships

Re: Selahattin put HDP Majors & MPs at risk of imprisonment

PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2019 1:30 am
Author: Anthea
HDP urges Turkish opposition
stop state 'coup' on the party

The pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) has called on other Turkish opposition parties and the international community to “lose no time” in stopping the Turkish government’s “coup” on the party, referring to the deposition and detention of the party’s mayors and other officials

HDP officials and members have faced Turkish government crackdown in the last three years, following a failed coup attempt allegedly orchestrated by Fethullah Gulen - a former ally of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. HDP condemnation of the putsch did not save it from Ankara’s clampdown.

Twenty-four HDP mayors elected in March 31 local elections have been removed from their posts due to their alleged links to Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Fourteen more mayors have been detained on similar charges. Six mayor-elects were prevented from even taking office, as they had previously been removed from office during post-coup attempt states of emergency.

Turkish officials and nationalists claim that the HDP is the political wing of the PKK – an armed political party struggling for the political and cultural rights of Kurds in Turkey. Ankara considers the PKK as a terrorist organization.

Rather stupidly, Selahattin Demirtaş and other HDP politicians openly and on many occasions, showed a connection between themselves and members the banned PKK. By their actions, the leaders of HDP have let down fellow MPs and the Kurdish population. Actually, the HDP are extremely lucky that Turkey has not closed their party down.

Hisyar Ozsoy, deputy co-chair of the HDP for foreign affairs warned on Monday that a replication of the crackdown on his party elsewhere is “highly probable.”

“It is imperative to note that this discriminatory hostility against the popular Kurdish will involves, and yet seeks to hide under a Turkish nationalist rhetoric of "terrorism," a more profound and comprehensive affront to whatever has remained of the principles of democratic representation and the rule of law in Mr Erdogan’s Turkey,” he said.

“Unless the non-HDP opposition takes an immediate and univocal position against this unconstitutional coup against the popular will, it is highly probable that the municipalities held by other opposition parties will soon be targeted in the same manner –such as the CHP-run Ankara and İstanbul metropolitan municipalities,” he added, referring to the losses suffered by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) to the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) in the March elections.

Ozsoy called on “larger” Turkish opposition parties – namely the CHP - and the “democratic” international community “to lose no time in acting against this coup and fulfilling their part in leading Turkey back into the path of parliamentary and local democracy and the rule of law.”

Some CHP officials were also detained during the post-2016 raids against government dissidents, as well as Turkish journalists, academics and lawyers.

The CHP is the largest opposition party, followed by the HDP and IYI Party. The ultra-nationalist Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) also considers itself to be an opposition party, but is in alliance with the AKP and is consulted in key issues by its ally.

The crackdown against the HDP has been internationally condemned.

“Moves by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s government against democratically elected officials and other peaceful government critics violate Turkey’s obligations under international and regional human rights law,” read a report by Human Rights Watch on October 11.

When the first unseating of mayors took place on August 19, Hugh Williamson, HRW director in Europe and Central Asia described it as the process of “smearing the mayors by alleging vague links with terrorism to deprive the Kurdish population of their chosen representatives endangers everyone in Turkey.” ... /181120191

Re: Selahattin put HDP Majors & MPs at risk of imprisonment

PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2019 1:56 pm
Author: Anthea
Turkey's pro-Kurdish party
won't leave parliament

Turkey's pro-Kurdish party calls for early elections, won't leave parliament

Turkey's pro-Kurdish opposition party called on Wednesday for an early election but ruled out withdrawing from parliament to protest the government's dismissal of dozens of its mayors who were elected earlier this year.

Authorities have removed 24 mayors of the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) since August, mainly due to alleged links to terrorism, and appointed replacements to run their municipalities.

Several members of the HDP had called for the party to withdraw from the national parliament or from local assemblies which the party still holds.

The HDP said in a statement that President Tayyip Erdogan's AK Party and its ally, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), were "stealing the will of the peoples" by appointing trustees.

"We say 'early election' for the peoples of Turkey to be rid of the AKP-MHP authority. This is a call for confrontation. We're saying bring it on," the party said.

"We call on all of the opposition to unite around this request for an early election and to take action," it said, also appealing for a campaign of civil disobedience.

There was no immediate response from the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) or the opposition nationalist Iyi (Good) Party. The HDP has previously complained about a lack of opposition solidarity.

The party ruled out withdrawing from national parliament or local assemblies, saying it had paid "heavy prices" to achieve gains and "will not withdraw from any area of struggle."

Erdogan and his AK Party accuse the HDP of links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has led a separatist insurgency since 1984 in which some 40,000 people have been killed. The HDP denies any links to terrorism.

Openly supporting Ocalan and PKK at Newroz, reading out letters from Ocalan, visiting Ocalan in prison etc etc, proves links and support.

Best to work for an independent Kurdistan, admit the truth and work to get PKK removed from the prescribed list. You would probably gain more respect by doing so.

Remember, once the Peshmerga were classed as terrorists, now they are the army of South Kurdistan. The PKK should be the army of North Kurdistan.

Hundreds of the HDP members, including its lawmakers and former co-leaders, have been put on trial on terrorism charges and many of those have been sentenced to jail.

The HDP has been the only party in the Turkish parliament that opposed Turkey's offensive in northeast Syria against the Kurdish YPG militia that began on Oct. 9. (Reporting by Ali Kucukgocmen Editing by Dominic Evans) ... ament.html