Nine HDP deputies could soon be stripped of their immunity, as the corresponding motions have been referred to the parliamentary justice committee.
Nine members of the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) are threatened with loss of parliamentary immunity. Corresponding motions have been received by the Turkish National Assembly and referred to the parliamentary justice committee.
The motions contain a summary of the alleged findings by the Ankara Public Prosecutor’s Office from the so called “Kobanê file” and are directed against the party’s co-chair Pervin Buldan as well as against Fatma Kurtulan, Garo Paylan, Hüda Kaya, Meral Danış Beştaş, Saruhan Oluç, Serpil Kemalbay, Sezai Temelli and Pero Dundar.
If the committee approves to lift the immunity, the motions will be submitted to the National Assembly for final decision.
The “Kobanê File”
A total of 108 people, the majority politicians from the HDP and actors from Kurdish civil society, have been charged for protests against the Islamic State siege of Kobanê in 2014. The General Prosecutor’s Office is demanding life imprisonment for “destroying the unity of the state and the whole of the country”. The defendants are also charged with 37 murders and dozens of attempted murders. In addition to more than 2,500 individuals, a number of ministries, authorities and parties also appear as co-plaintiffs, including the Ministries of Interior, Justice and Defense, the Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs and Family, the Central Authority of the Turkish Police, the Turkish Secret Service (MIT), Coalition parties AKP and MHP, the CHP and the Hezbollah-affiliated Hüda Par party. Several members of the Executive Committee of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in South Kurdistan, including Murat Karayılan, Duran Kalkan and Cemil Bayık, are also indicted.
The 3530-page indictment used as evidence, among other things, reports on the political activities of the accused as well as their statements and interviews, which were published by ANF. A total of 413 pages have been devoted to our reporting. Another 62 pages deal with the “structures of the PKK / KCK”, on whose instructions the former HDP chairman Selahattin Demirtaş is said to have made several statements, including after a visit to Kobanê on September 30, 2014.
Background to the Kobanê protests
On the evening of 6 October 2014, the terrorist Islamic State succeeded in penetrating Kobanê city center after 21 days of resistance carried out by the YPG / YPJ defense units and the population of Kobanê. In view of the critical situation, the HDP had called on the public to protest against the Turkish government for an indefinite period of time because it did not end its support for ISIS.
Street battles erupted in many cities between security forces and paramilitary organizations such as village guards and supporters of the radical Islamist Turkish-Kurdish Hezbollah and the demonstrators. The number of people killed, most of whom were people who joined the uprising, fluctuated between 46 (IHD) and 53. The government only speaks of 37 dead. According to a report by the human rights organization IHD, 682 people were injured in the protests. At least 323 people were arrested. In the course of the uprising, there were also arson attacks on shops and public facilities.
Trial to open in April
The date of the Kobanê trial has been set for 25 April. The trial will take place in the courthouse on the Sincan prison campus.