Prosecutors file to lift immunity from pro-Kurdish party deputies

A prosecutor’s office in Turkey’s capital city of Ankara has filed requests to lift the parliamentary immunity of five pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) deputies, T24 news site said on Thursday.

Prosecutors presented a summary of proceedings against HDP co-chairs Pervin Buldan and Sezai Temelli alongside 3 other lawmakers to the Turkish Parliamentary Speaker's Office, T24 said.

It was not immediately clear what the accusations against the lawmakers were.
Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) government has piled constant pressure on the HDP since it became the first pro-Kurdish party to win enough votes to break the country’s 10 per cent electoral threshold in the June 2015 elections.

Shortly after the elections, a peace process broke down between the AKP and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), an outlawed armed group that has fought for Kurdish self-rule in Turkey since the 1980s.

Dozens of high-profile HDP politicians and activists have faced legal action since 2015 due to their alleged links to the PKK, including two of the party’s former co-chairs, Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ.
The CHP politicians have been accused of “insulting the president,” a crime with a maximum four-year prison sentence according to the Turkish constitution, which does not clearly define what constitutes an insult. 

The Turkish parliament decided to make it possible to lift politicians’ parliamentary immunity in a controversial vote in May 2016.