Two more HDP deputies lose seats in Turkish Parliament
Two more Kurdish issue-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputies have been stripped of their parliamentary status following criminal verdicts against them were read out at a parliamentary session.
The summaries of proceedings against MPs Ahmet Yıldırım and İbrahim Ayhan included the final verdict of separate legal cases against them and was read aloud at parliament’s General Assembly on Feb. 27.
Yıldırım was sentenced to one year and two months in prison in June 2017 for “insulting” President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in a speech after the April 2017 referendum.
With the latest procedure, Yıldırım became the first MP in parliamentary history to be stripped of their status for “insulting the president.”
Ayhan, meanwhile, was sentenced to one year and three months in jail in July 2017 for “making propaganda for a terrorist organization” over his social media posts and for attending the funerals of outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) members.
In 2016, the legislative immunity of lawmakers was lifted through the joint votes of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP.
Following the vote, almost all HDP deputies faced summaries of proceedings on 100 different accusations, while seven lawmakers are currently in prison including former HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş.
With the removal from parliament of Ayhan and Yıldırım, a total of nine HDP deputies have now been stripped of their parliamentary status on the basis of criminal convictions or for failing to attend parliamentary sessions.
Before the removals, the HDP had entered parliament after the November 2015 parliamentary election with 59 deputies.