ISTANBUL,REUTERS – 29.11.2012 – Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday he was in favor of lifting the immunity from prosecution of Kurdish deputies accused of links to militants, a move which would likely fuel tensions in the Kurdish region in Turkey’s southeast.

“Our decision will be in favor of lifting the immunity from prosecution of those individuals who hide behind that immunity. After that it’s up to the judiciary,” he told a news conference before departing on a visit to Spain.

“I believe there should be a very different practice in parliament for those who take on the guise of being an extension of the separatist terrorist organization,” Erdogan said, saying there were 800 such cases currently before parliament. Among the most notable recent cases, a prosecutor called for 10 Kurdish deputies to be investigated on charges of aiding a terrorist group after they were filmed embracing militants at an impromptu roadside meeting. The incident happened in August when Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants set up a roadblock and stopped a Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) convoy in southeast Turkey.