The opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) held its weekly parliamentary group meeting on Nov. 15 with only its spokesperson, Ayhan Bilgen, in protest against the ban on guests due to their slogans.
“This is a shame for the parliament,” told Bilgen journalists on Nov. 15. Last week’s meeting was criticized by Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım due to the participation of European ambassadors. Slogans were also heard in the meeting.
Meanwhile, the HDP will canvass its constituents about whether it should stay or remain in parliament following a partial pullout after its lawmakers and co-chairs were arrested at the beginning of November. The HDP has moved toward finding a road map after the recent developments, daily Cumhuriyet reported on Nov. 15.
According to the daily, debates started to erupt inside HDP after the party on Nov. 6 decided to halt all parliamentary works following the arrests. There are two different viewpoints inside the party regarding the decision to halt all parliamentary works, the daily also said.
A group of HDP lawmakers support the decision, whereas another group claims that the decision will further push the HDP out of politics and “that’s what the government wants.” Upon criticisms, the party will hold meetings across Turkey to find out what supporters want. The meetings will last until the beginning of 2017 and will be held via local party units.
Separately, Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats Group President Gianni Pittella tweeted a photo of a meeting held in the European Parliament with two HDP lawmakers who are currently being sought in Turkey over “terror” charges.
The photo showed Tuğba Hezer Öztürk and Faysal Sarıyıldız, who are HDP lawmakers from the eastern province of Van and the southeastern province of Şırnak, respectively, with Pittella. Eyüp Doru, who is being sought with a red notice in Turkey over “terrorist activities,” was also seen in the meeting.
Ten HDP lawmakers, including co-chairs Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ, were arrested in a probe launched against 14 of the party’s deputies over alleged links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).