Turkey MPs held in probe for failing to answer summons
Date: 2016-11-04 09:35
Several Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) lawmakers were detained early Friday for failing to appear for a summons to testify as part of a counter-terrorism investigation, Turkish security sources said.
Those detained include HDP co-chairs Figen Yuksekdag and Selahattin Demirtas, as well as the party’s parliamentary group leader Idris Baluken.
The police operations against the MPs come after prosecutors in Diyarbakir, Hakkari, Van, Sirnak and Bingol provinces -- located in the southeastern and eastern regions -- gave the go-ahead following the parliamentarians’ refusal to cooperate with the investigation.
The two HDP leaders vowed in June not to testify.
The MPs face prosecution under anti-terrorism laws after their parliamentary immunity was lifted earlier this year, along with other lawmakers from Turkey’s main political parties.
Unlike MPs from other parties who also faced investigations after their immunity was lifted, HDP lawmakers refused to appear for testimony.
They are accused of spreading terrorist propaganda, among other charges, in relation to investigations on Oct. 6-8 incidents and the PKK/KCK terror groups.
Protests erupted across Turkey during the Eid al-Adha holiday on Oct. 6, 2014, only a day after Daesh militants entered the Syrian border town of Kobani, also known as Ein al-Arab.
The protests came after HDP co-chair Demirtas urged citizens to take to the streets.
The ensuing week of violent street demonstrations and clashes across Turkey left dozens of people dead, including two police officers, and hundreds injured, along with extensive damage to property.
Other HDP members detained Friday along with Yuksekdag, Demirtas and Baluken were Ferhat Encu, Leyla Birlik, Selma Irmak, Abdullah Zeydan, Sirri Sureyya Onder, Ziya Pir, Gulser Yildirim and Nursel Aydogan.
The Interior Ministry said in a statement that two more MPs were being sought and two others were abroad.