November 20, 2019
Supporters of Turkey’s pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party during a demonstration. The HDP denies any link to terrorism. (Reuters/File)
By Arab News
ANKARA – The pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) is considering withdrawing its MPs from Turkey’s Parliament in protest at the government’s dismissal of four district mayors over the weekend.
The removal of the Kurdish local leaders on terrorism charges brings the total number dismissed since the March 31 local elections to 24, with some also imprisoned.
HDP lawmakers, mayors and local officials are expected to discuss a parliamentary boycott at a meeting on Wednesday in Ankara.
Removal of the Kurdish mayors has drawn widespread international criticism.
The move is seen as a violation of the right to political participation and free elections under the European Convention on Human Rights and International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
Alice Kuhnke, a member of European Parliament for the Greens/European Free Alliance, said that the arrest of Kurdish mayors and political opponents is part of a wider attempt to silence political opponents, even those democratically elected.