- Title: Turkey's pro-Kurdish HDP convenes for the first time after leaders' arrests
- Date: 8th November 2016
- Summary: ANAKRA, TURKEY (NOVEMBER 8, 2016) (REUTERS) MEMBERS OF PRO-KURDISH PEOPLES' DEMOCRACY PARTY (HDP) CHANTING (Turkish): "THIEF, MURDERER, ERDOGAN" MAN HOLDING UP PHOTOGRAPH OF HDP'S ARRESTED CO-LEADER, FIGEN YUKSEKDAG PEOPLE APPLAUDING / HOLDING UP PHOTOGRAPHS OF HDP LEADERS WOMAN HOLDING UP PHOTO OF HDP'S ARRESTED CO-LEADER, SELAHATTIN DEMIRTAS HDP LAWMAKERS MAKING VICTORY SIGNS / CROWD CHEERING PEOPLE APPLAUDING VARIOUS OF FOREIGN DIPLOMATS ATTENDING THE MEETING BEING ANNOUNCED / PEOPLE APPLAUDING HDP GROUP MEETING IN PROGRESS / SCREEN IN BACKGROUND PHOTOS OF ARRESTED CO-LEADERS AND MPS ON SCREEN (AUDIO OF CHANTING) (SOUNDBITE) (Turkish) DEPUTY CHAIRMAN OF HDP PARLIAMENT GROUP, CAGLAR DEMIREL, READING MESSAGE BY ARRESTED HDP LEADER SELAHATTIN DEMIRTAS': "This empire of fear will collapse soon and we will continue to fight under every condition without losing our faith for democratic politics. Even though we are kept between these walls, we will not forget we are living under the same sky and we will continue to be part of the ongoing struggle outside. We will continue to benefit from the joy brought by the ongoing dance for freedom." PEOPLE APPLAUDING
- Embargoed: 23rd November 2016 13:40
- Keywords: Turkey Kurds parliament Peoples' Democratic Party HDP arrests
- Location: ANKARA, TURKEY
- City: ANKARA, TURKEY
- Country: Turkey
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA00157L4953
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Turkey's pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party (HDP) convened on Tuesday (November 8) for the first time after its co-leaders and several lawmakers were arrested.
HDP co-leaders Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag were jailed pending trial on Friday (November 4) after refusing to give testimony in a probe linked to "terrorist propaganda".
Ten other HDP lawmakers were also detained, although some were later released.
The government accuses the HDP, the second-largest opposition grouping in Turkey's parliament, of financing and supporting an armed Kurdish insurgency, which it denies.
The HDP announced a partial boycott of parliament on Sunday (November 6), saying it was "halting its legislative efforts" and that its deputies would stop participating in sessions of the legislature or meetings of parliamentary commissions.
In the first parliamentary group meeting following the arrests, HDP lawmakers showed videos of their electoral campaign and read a written message from their arrested co-leader Selahattin Demirtas, who vowed to continue his political struggle.
European foreign diplomats also attended the meeting that came shortly after the European Union issued a strong new call on Turkey to resume political dialogue with opposition groups and safeguard its democracy, describing recent developments as "extremely worrying".
The statement, issued by the EU a day before an annual assessment of Turkey's progress on meeting criteria for EU accession, noted discussion in Ankara of reintroducing the death penalty following July's failed military coup, a crackdown on the media and last weeks lawmakers' arrests.
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