The Kurdish issue-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) has returned to parliamentary work after boycotting it since Nov. 6, HDP spokesperson Ayhan Bilgen has said, adding that the intra-party discussion over the return is continuing.
“We are here for now. And we will be here,” Bilgen said at the HDP’s parliamentary group meeting in the capital Ankara on Nov. 22.
“We are going to continue holding meetings with the people. The decision of the people, who sent us here [to parliament] to defend a cause, is more important than anything else. We will continue these meetings before taking a final decision [on parliamentary work],” he added.
The HDP had been boycotting parliament in protest at the arrest of its deputies and co-chairs Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ.
Saying that detained HDP lawmakers are “being held captive,” Bilgen noted that “arbitrary practices” are being implemented in prisons.
Slamming the recent appointment of trustees to municipalities in the eastern and southeastern provinces, after their elected mayors were removed and detained by police, Bilgen said “the only decision mechanism is the people.”
“You are so desperate and afraid that you even detain Ahmet Türk, who has been victimized by many coups but has never surrendered,” Bilgen said, referring to the detained mayor of the southeastern province of Mardin.
The HDP spokesperson also said Parliament Speaker İsmail Kahraman had sent a written order to Parliament Deputy Speaker Pervin Buldan ordering her not to manage parliament’s general assembly in his absence.
Meanwhile, Bilgen also commented on a Nov. 20 rally organized by opposition groups in Istanbul’s Kartal province, criticizing the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) for not attending.
“Now they will organize rallies ‘against separatism.’ They weren’t brave enough to stand side by side with the ones who said ‘We won’t surrender’ in Kartal, but they will organize a meeting in [the southern province of Adana],” he said.