Author : Hurriyet dailynews
Posted on November 6, 2016
The Kurdish issue-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) has decided to halt all of its parliamentary works following the arrest of nine of its lawmakers, including co-chairs Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ, party spokesperson Ayhan Bilgen announced on Nov. 6.
“As a result of discussions we held with our parliamentary group and the central executive board, we have decided to halt our works in the legislature in the face of the most extensive and the darkest attack of our history and meet with our people once again,” Bilgen said after a party meeting in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır.
He added that the party was not fully withdrawing from parliament and its deputies would remain members, but they would not take part in general assembly sittings or parliamentary commission meetings, Reuters reported.
Bilgen said the HDP would pay visits to every corner of the country in the coming days, listening to complaints and suggestions from the public and holding discussions with NGOs, unions, trade bodies and faith groups.
When asked whether there would be an appointment for the co-chairmanship by proxy, Bilgen said the party would discuss the issue with the public and ultimately make a decision for its future.
“Turkey is at a turning point. We want to see what this decision means for Turkey and the world rather than discussing such small details. We made a very clear announcement and we will do what this announcement requires. Making decisions with the public is on our agenda,” Bilgen said.
Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Nurettin Canikli has said the HDP’s decision would “not negatively affect legislative works.”
Environment Minister Mehmet Özhaseki also said the HDP had already been blocking parliament with “interference and fights.”
“They are keeping the nation busy with interference and fights. This amounts to halting parliament, which they have been doing. They can do nothing other than that,” Özhaseki said.
The party decision came two days after nine HDP lawmakers, including Demirtaş and Yüksekdağ, were arrested in a probe launched against 14 of the party’s deputies over alleged links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
The lawmakers’ detentions came upon the orders of the chief public prosecutors’ offices in Diyarbakır, Şırnak, Hakkari, Van and Bingöl, which acted after the MPs did not show up to give testimony to officials over their summary of proceedings on terror charges.