Five deputies of Turkish opposition parties risk being stripped of their statuses

Pro-Kurdish HDP Co-chairperson Selahattin Demirtaş (R), HDP Hakkari deputy Abdullah Zeydan (L) and Democratic Regions Party (DBP) Co-chairperson Sebahat Tuncel had started a hunger strike on Friday.

Jailed 5 deputies of Turkish opposition parties are facing the risk of being stripped of their statuses as members of parliament in the new legislative-year which is going to kick off on October 1.

Abdullah Zeydan, Besime Konca and Çağlar Demirel from the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), and Enis Berberoğlu from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), whose cases are pending in court amid their appeals, risk losing their seats in parliament. Leyla Zana from the HDP also may face dismissal for failing to attend parliamentary sessions.
Last year, four lawmakers had been stripped of their seats in parliament.

HDP lawmakers began facing prosecution after their parliamentary immunities were lifted in March 2016. After the immunities were lifted, hundreds of summary proceedings were issued against 50 HDP lawmakers in parliament, which led to 12 HDP lawmakers, including co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş and former co-chair Figen Yüksekdağ, being imprisoned. Yüksekdağ was stripped of her seat in parliament in February as she was being convicted on terror charges.

The Turkish constitution rules that a deputy can be removed from their status after failing to attend parliamentary sessions without any excuses or being absent for five sessions by a majority in parliament, which has to make the decision within a month.

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