One more HDP deputy loses parliamentary seat over terror charges in Turkey

Pro-Kurdish HDP deputy Besime Konca.

Pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) deputy Besime Konca was stripped of her deputy status after the final court ruling against her was read aloud in the first session of Turkish Parliament on Tuesday.

The parliamentary speaker’s office read the prime ministerial letter including the court ruling at the parliamentary session in the general assembly, a procedure that legally stripped Konca of her deputy status.

Konca had been sentenced to 2,5 years in prison for “making propaganda for a terrorist organization.” There are more than seven ministerial letters on Konca that enable legal authorities to file an investigation on her amid the lift of legislative immunities.

With Konca, the number of female HDP deputies stripped of their lawmaker status rose to four, since former co-leader Figen Yüksekdağ and deputies Nursel Aydoğan, Tuğba Hezer Öztürk has also lost their parliamentary seats. Faysal Sarıyıldız had been only male HDP deputy who lost his parliamentary seat.

After the immunities were lifted, hundreds of letters were issued against 50 HDP lawmakers in parliament. HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş, the party’s former co-chair Yüksekdağ and seven lawmakers from the HDP are currently in jail.

Turkish authorities had conducted direct talks with jailed PKK chieftain Abdullah Öcalan for several years until a truce in effect collapsed in the summer of 2015. Since then, there have been heavy clashes between the PKK and Turkish security forces.

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