NORTH KURDISTAN – TURKEY : HDP To Begin Hunger Strike in Parliament

According to an article in today’s Özgür Gündem the four MPs of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) will go on hunger strike in parliament following a court decision in Diyarbakir which rejected the release of six imprisoned BDP MPs who are currently facing trial on charges related to terrorism.

The BDP MPs had applied for release after another court made the decision to release the CHP MP Mustafa Balbay. Ertuğrul Kürkçü, the co-president of the HDP and an MP, is reported to have said “we will begin this afternoon. It is not clear how long it will last. When the situation becomes more positive then we will take another look…the decision that was taken is a clear demonstration that there exist two separate legal regimes in Turkey. We view this as a form of punitive exploitation against Kurdistan. This is a blow against the peace process.”

HDP MP Sırrı Süreyya Önder, speaking to reporters yesterday, also confirmed that he would go on hunger strike, saying, “tomorrow (today) the four HDP MPs will begin an indefinite hunger strike in the Turkish parliament to protest the discriminatory treatment of imprisoned MPs. Önder went on to say that he expected support for the hunger strike from all MPs and condemned the actions of the court, saying “while ripping up the rights of representation of MPs chosen by their constituents and disregarding the legal order this decision is an expression of racist politics under the cover of the law. AKP power cannot brush off responsibility for this decision by hiding behind the ‘independence of the judiciary.’ Either they will defend these decisions or they will take a new step in line with the needs of the peace process.”