Turkish Parliament strips 2 more HDP deputies of parliamentary status

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HDP deputies Ahmet Yıldırım (L) and İbrahim Ayhan

The Turkish Parliament on Tuesday stripped pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputies Ahmet Yıldırım and İbrahim Ayhan of their parliamentary status, Cumhuriyet reported.

Yıldırım was given 14 months in jail last year by the Muş 2nd Penal Court of First Instance for insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in a speech in which he referred to the president as a “hack sultan.”

HDP deputies Tuğba Hezer Öztürk, Leyla Zana, Nursel Aydoğan Faysal Sarıyıldız, Ferhat Encü, Besime Konca and Figen Yüksekdağ were previously stripped of their parliamentary status.

The number of HDP deputies in Parliament has dropped to 50 from the 59 the party won in the Nov. 1, 2015 general election.

Nine HDP deputies are currently in prison: Selahattin Demirtaş, Figen Yüksekdağ, Selma Irmak, Abdullah Zeydan, Gülser Yıldırım, Çağlar Demirel, Ferhat Encü, İdris Baluken and Burcu Çelik Özkan.

The HDP is now represented by only 43 deputies in Parliament, with some deputies retaining their parliamentary status while in pretrial detention, according to Cumhuriyet.

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