HDP holds first parliamentary group meeting in absence of arrested MPs

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The Kurdish issue-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) held its first parliamentary group meeting in the absence of its co-chairs and eight deputies on Nov. 8, after they were arrested last week on terror charges.
In the meeting chaired by HDP Diyarbakır MP Çağlar Demirel, messages from the arrested HDP deputies were read out and a number of their previous group meeting speeches were screened.

The meeting was attended by the ambassadors of Belgium, Austria and Luxembourg, in addition to the Turkey delegation representatives of Austria, Greece, Finland and the EU.

During her speech, Demirel noted that the meeting’s streaming at TBMM TV, parliament’s official TV station, had been cut, while national broadcasters refused to show HDP group meetings live.

“Despite everything, they will not be able to end our hope or break our resistance. Both within the country and outside, we must continue to call for democracy for Turkey,” said HDP co-chair Figen Yüksekdağ in her message.

Fellow HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş, meanwhile, said they were “kidnapped” as a result of the “civil coup,” adding that their arrest was a step toward “one-man rule.”

“This attack on us for supporting living together in peace should not be forgotten. Our only way out against such a regime is to build up the common fight,” said Demirtaş, urging European countries to show a much more effective attitude in the face of “these pressures.”

One day after the Nov. 4 arrest of its deputies, including its co-chairs, the HDP announced that it would to halt all its parliamentary works but would continue to represent its electorate in the legislative institution.

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