Arrest of HDP deputies is constitutional necessity: Turkish deputy PM
ANKARADeputy Prime Minister and spokesman Numan Kurtulmuş has slammed criticism of the arrests of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) lawmakers, recalling the constitutional amendment lifting the impunity of MPs that came into force in June.
“This is constitutional. What’s more, it is a constitutional necessity due to the change [in constitution]. It is the related courts that did this. The courts in charge deal with the case, it is not the business of politics to intervene,” Kurtulmuş said following a cabinet meeting on Nov. 7.
“It is a 100 percent lawful proceeding. We hope everybody respects that,” he said.
Kurtulmuş claimed that the investigation against the HDP deputies did not target the “political identity” of the HDP, but was a result of related legal probes.
The government is not expecting an early election following the HDP’s decision to withdraw from parliamentary work, he also said.
“I don’t think there will be an early election,” Kurtulmuş told reporters after a cabinet meeting on Nov. 7.
“[The withdrawal of the HDP lawmakers] will not contribute to the HDP’s politics. The HDP insists on doing politics under the shadow of the [outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party] PKK. We say this: You should distance yourself from terror,” he added.
Kurtulmuş’s comments came after the HDP decided to withdraw its deputies from the legislature on Nov. 6, after the co-leaders of the party and a number of deputies were arrested on terrorism-related charges.
According to Turkish law, elections are held if at least five percent of 550 seats at parliament (28 seats) are emptied. The HDP has 59 seats at parliament.
Kurtulmuş repeated the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) call for HDP lawmakers to participate at parliament.
“It is the HDP lawmakers’ decision whether to attend parliamentary work or not. Those who enter parliament through the will of the people should respect the will of the people. We hope they will participate in parliamentary work,” he said.