Former CHP, HDP deputies stage sit-in protest against violence in southeastern Turkey
Hürriyet PhotoA group of former lawmakers from the Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) have staged a sit-in at parliament, protesting against the violence and curfews imposed on the southeastern towns of Cizre and Silopi.
The ex-MPs came together on Dec. 17 for a five-hour sit-in under the title “Lawmakers’ Solidarity Group,” during which they brandished banners reading “Peace Right Now” and “We are Defending Life and Freedoms.”
The group held a joint press conference at parliament to announce the sit-in, where former HDP Diyarbakır deputy Nursel Aydoğan said at least 500,000 people had been locked in their homes due to the curfews.
“Turkey is rapidly going off a cliff. Everybody should work to preventing Turkey’s drift over the edge of the cliff. This is a matter of citizenship,” said Akın Birdal, a former Mersin deputy of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), one of the HDP’s forerunners.
Former BDP Van deputy Aysel Tuğluk called for a “democratic resolution” to the Kurdish issue. “Otherwise, a big disaster is waiting for all of us and for our country. We have died enough, we have suffered enough. No matter how long the war is fought, we have to return to negotiations,” Tuğluk said.
Melda Onur, a former Istanbul deputy of the CHP, urged parliament’s Human Rights Commission, the Ombudsman Institution, and the National Human Rights Institution of Turkey working under the Prime Ministry, to “not remain silent.”
“We urgently need to end violations of rights and eliminate clashes, tension, division, and unrest. It is parliament’s duty and responsibility to bring light to this dark picture,” Onur said.
Hasip Kaplan, a former Şırnak deputy of the HDP, said there must not be “collective punishment” in ongoing military operations.
“There is law even during martial law and during the state of emergency. There was even law in the notorious State Security Courts. But there is no law here,” Kaplan added.