US ‘following events’ in Turkey after HDP MP’s seat revoked

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The U.S. said on March 17 that it is “closely following events” in Turkey, where the parliament revoked the seat of a lawmaker from the opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).

“The United States is closely following events in Turkey, including troubling moves on March 17 to strip a Member of Parliament, Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu of his parliamentary seat,” State Department Spokesman Ned Price said in a statement.

The action came in light of a court ruling on Gergerlioğlu.

On Feb. 19, Turkey’s Supreme Court of Appeals, also called the Court of Cassation, approved the ruling on Gergerlioğlu, who was sentenced to two and a half years in prison for spreading propaganda for the PKK terrorist group.

Following the loss of Gergerlioğlu’s seat, the HDP now holds 55 seats in parliament.

“We are also monitoring the initiation of efforts to dissolve the Peoples’ Democratic Party, a decision that would unduly subvert the will of Turkish voters, further undermine democracy in Turkey, and deny millions of Turkish citizens their chosen representation,” Price said.

Price said the US is calling on the Turkish government “to respect freedom of expression in line with protections in the Turkish constitution and with Turkey’s international obligations.”

In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union- has been responsible for the deaths of at least 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.

Hurriyet Daily News

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