BDP FACING BAN ! – BDP Lawmakers Under Fire for Embracing PKK Guerillas

31/08/2012 RUDAW – By HEMIN KHOSHNAW – ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — Lawmakers from the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) made a controversial visit to the Shemzinan and Colemerg area where they embraced Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) guerillas in early August. The visit followed attacks launched by the PKK against the Turkish army in the area several weeks ago. In response, Burhan Kuzu, the chair of constitutional committee in Turkish Parliament, described the BDP as “the crime machine.”

Kuzu told the Turkish media that the BDP are taking advantage of immunity legislation. Out of the 760 immunity cases pending in parliament, 560 of them are related to BDP lawmakers.  “Only 47 immunity files have been suspended in the history of Turkish Parliament.” Kuzu added. “I support the immunity legislation, but abusing it is not acceptable.”

After video footage of BDP lawmakers embracing the PKK guerrillas was published, the Turkish public prosecutor launched an investigation and is considering banning the party in Turkey.

The Radikal newspaper reported that Turkey’s public prosecutor demanded the video footage from the court in Van. The public prosecutor will also review BDP’s background. After the investigation is finished, a decision will be made about whether the party will be banned.  Pervin Buldan, the head of the BDP faction in Turkish Parliament, told Rudaw, “During their visit to the area, some of the MPs ran into their relatives and children and kissed and hugged them. That shouldn’t be considered a crime that people and a political party should be punished for.”


Regarding whether the MPs’ immunity will be revoked, Buldan said, “That is not something they can do easily.”Sebahat Tuncel, a Kurdish MP from Istanbul, believes that making such a decision will hurt the government most.

Tuncel told Rudaw, “The Turkish government has been attempting to solve the Kurdish issue by implementing a war on terror policy. The government wants to justify its own terror actions. The government wants to implement the same policy toward the BDP. The Justice and Development Party (AKP) want to conceal its political failures by banning the BDP.” “The decision to ban the BDP will have severe consequences for the government this time,” Tuncel added. “Such a decision would force the Kurds to give up on Ankara. It is very important for the government to have BDP remain in Ankara to solve the Kurdish issue peacefully. The government will be hurt most if the Kurds withdraw from parliament.”

The issue of banning the BDP and suspending the immunity of its MPs has become a heated discussion among AKP lawmakers. Maher Onal, an AKP MP, said that this is all a tactic of the PKK to have BDP lawmakers thrown out of parliament.

“It is in the PKK’s interest for the situation to become unstable. The PKK wants the BDP lawmakers to get thrown out of parliament as used to happen in the 1990s,” he said. Onal believes the hugging and kissing of the guerrillas by BDP MPs was not an accident. He said, “The Turkish plan is the plan of a big country. The PKK wants to reverse what AKP has been doing in the past 10 years