2 HDP deputies face removal of parliamentary status

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HDP deputies Faysal Sarıyıldız (L) and Tuğba Hezer Öztürk

Pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputies Faysal Sarıyıldız and Tuğba Hezer Öztürk have been referred to a parliamentary joint commission for removal of their parliamentary status, the diken news website reported on Wednesday.

A sub-commission was set up to evaluate Sarıyıldız and Öztürk’s status due to extended absences from Parliament.

On May 9, the Turkish Parliament stripped jailed HDP Diyarbakır deputy Nursel Aydoğan of her parliamentary status after a sentence of 56 months, seven days was upheld by a regional court in Gaziantep.

In February, the parliamentary status of jailed HDP co-chairperson Figen Yüksekdağ was also removed after Turkey’s Supreme Court of Appeals upheld a jail sentence handed down to her in 2013.

Turkey has stepped up its crackdown on Kurdish politicians since last fall. Trustees have been appointed to dozens of municipalities in the country’s predominantly Kurdish Southeast, while hundreds of local Kurdish politicians have been arrested on terror charges. There are currently 10 HDP deputies behind bars.

The developments have attracted widespread criticism from the region and Western countries.

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