Pro-Kur­dish MPs end hunger strike

The Kurdish Globe - - NEWS -

Four pro-Kur­dish MPs who de­clared the start of a hunger strike in the Turk­ish par­lia­ment last week in protest at a court rul­ing against the re­lease of jailed MPs with sus­pected links to Kur­dish rebels, ended their strike on its fourth day.

Er­tuğrul Kürkçü, Se­ba­hat Tun­cel, Sırrı Süreyya Ön­der and Levent Tüzel an­nounced the end of their strike at a joint press con­fer­ence on De­cem­ber 20.

“You promised to rec­og­nize the right of the Kurds to en­gage in demo­cratic pol­i­tics. They laid down their arms, they trusted you. You are keep­ing [in prison] the one [Ab­dul­lah Öcalan] who would ac­tu­ally be re­leased, even if he were con­victed today, thanks to the Anti-Ter­ror Law and the di­choto­mous law,” Ön­der said at the press con­fer­ence.

“This is an­other dec­la­ra­tion of war against the Kurds,” he added.

The four went on hunger strike in protest against the Di­yarbakır 5th and 6th High Crim­i­nal Courts’ re­fusal to re­lease five jailed par­lia­men­tar­i­ans elected from the BDP, the HDP’s sis­ter party.

Hopes for the re­lease of the BDP deputies had height­ened af­ter the main op­po­si­tion Repub­li­can Peo­ple’s Party’s (CHP) deputy Mustafa Bal­bay was re­leased from jail on Dec. 9, pend­ing ap­peal, af­ter the Con­sti­tu­tional Court ruled on Dec. 4 that his pre-trial de­ten­tion had vi­o­lated his rights. Bal­bay pledged his oath in Par­lia­ment on Dec. 10 af­ter nearly five years in prison in the Er­genekon coup plot case.

The BDP MPs, Gülser Yıldırım, Selma Ir­mak, İbrahim Ay­han, Faysal Sarıyıldız and Ke­mal Ak­taş, were elected in the June 2011 gen­eral elec­tions while im­pris­oned. They were de­tained in 2009 and 2010 on charges of hav­ing links to the out­lawed Kur­dis­tan Work­ers’ Party (PKK) and are still be­ing held, pend­ing ver­dicts.

Sev­eral aca­demics had ar­gued that the Con­sti­tu­tional Court rul­ing over Bal­bay’s ap­peal would set a prece­dent for other jailed MPs. How­ever, the Di­yarbakır courts ruled that this was not the case.

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