BDP warns of blocking if Kurdish deputy stripped of post
This file photo shows a group of lawmakers of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) during a sit in protest in the General Assembly in January. BDP is ready to ‘do anything to block General Assembly’ if independent Kurdish deputy Kemal Aktaş is stripped of his deputy’s status for a ‘terrorist propaganda’ conviction, the party’s co-leaders said. DAILY NEWS photo, Hasan ALTINIŞIKParliament may be rocked by a new political crisis if independent Kurdish deputy Kemal Aktaş is stripped of his deputy’s status for a “terrorist propaganda” conviction, the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) has said.
“We would do anything to block the General Assembly if the ruling is read out,” sources quoted BDP co-chairs Selahattin Demirtaş and Gültan Kışanak as saying in a warning to Parliamentary Speaker Cemil Çiçek.
Çiçek’s office is currently looking into Aktaş’s situation.
Aktaş, elected while in prison from the list of a bloc backed by the BDP, was sentenced to two years for “disseminating terrorist propaganda.” The sentence may strip Aktaş of his parliamentary seat as jail sentences in excess of one year make one ineligible to hold a deputyship. Aktaş would lose his seat as soon as the ruling is read out in the General Assembly.
Demirtaş and Kışanak paid a visit to Çiçek late June 5 in an effort to convince Çiçek to avert a crisis. Çiçek reportedly said there was nothing he could do as the ruling should be read out in the General Assembly within one week.
Postponement of announce
Kışanak and Demirtaş said the announcement of the ruling should be postponed until the end of this Parliament’s term, referring to Article 83 of the Constitution.
Under Article 83 of the Constitution, the execution of sentences against parliamentary members is suspended until their deputyship comes to an end. Article 84, however, states that a lawmaker who is convicted of a crime loses his or her deputyship as soon as the ruling is read out in the General Assembly.
Aktaş remains in jail pending trial for another case.
The issue is likely to set Turkey’s political agenda, coinciding with main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu’s meeting yesterday with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to discuss his party’s new proposals for a solution to the Kurdish question.