Turkish prosecutors open probe into pro-Kurdish HDP deputies for attending PKK funeral

Turkish prosecutors have launched an investigation into two pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputies for attending the funeral of a Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) terrorist in southeastern Batman province.

The Batman Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office launched the investigation into Feleknas Uca and Mehmet Rüştü Tiryaki for “disseminating the propaganda of a terrorist group,” Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

The HDP deputies attended the funeral of Devran Baysal, also known by his code name Simko Kerboran, who was among the PKK terrorists killed during an operation in southeastern Hakkari province on July 8.

Uca and Tiryaki attended the funeral of the militant in Batman province and carried his coffin on their shoulders during the ceremony.

HDP Diyarbakır deputies Remziye Tosun and Musa Farisoğlulları were also subjected to an investigation for attending the funeral of Kurdish militant Cudi Amed in Diyarbakır last week.

The Turkish government has been stepping up its crackdown on its Kurdish minority since 2016. Trustees have been appointed to dozens of municipalities in the country’s predominantly Kurdish Southeast, while hundreds of national and local Kurdish politicians have been arrested on terror charges.

A number of HDP officials are currently imprisoned. One of them is the party’s former co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş, who ran as the party’s presidential candidate in the June 24 election. Demirtaş received 8,4 percent of the vote in the election, which took place under an ongoing state of emergency.

Meanwhile, the HDP made it above the much-criticized 10 percent threshold a party needs to surpass in order to secure seats in parliament. The HDP won 11,7 percent of the vote in the parliamentary race on June 24 and secured 67 seats in the 600-seat parliament.

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