Pro-Kurdish party limits its actions in Turkish parliament

AP News
Posted: Nov 06, 2016 5:04 AM

ISTANBUL (AP) — Turkey's pro-Kurdish party has decided to halt its legislative activities in parliament following the arrest of nine of its lawmakers.

Yet Ayhan Bilgen, a spokesman for the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), told The Associated Press on Sunday that the party will not withdraw from parliament, saying that decision can only "be made in consultation with the people."

HDP co-leaders Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag were arrested Friday on terrorism-related charges, along with seven other lawmakers. The move prompted messages of concern from the U.S. and Europe that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is using the pursuit of terrorists to detain opposition members.

The HDP entered parliament last year as the nation's third-largest party. In May, Turkey's parliament voted to strip lawmakers of legal immunity, paving the way for the arrests.