In the general elections on June 7, 2015, President Erdoğan had claimed 400 seats in the Parliament in order to make the transition in the Presidential System. However, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) had lost the majority of seats in the Parliament and the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) exceeding the 10% threshold with 80 MPs changed the entire arithmetic of Parliamentary elections. The seats previously occupied by AKP MPs due to this threshold were finally handed back to their actual owners. But Erdoğan didn’t like the election results and postponed the establishment of the government as much as he could; only to organize another elections later. The country has then experienced another warfare spiral during this process. The “Resolution Process” that was conducted to resolve the Kurdish Question and the Dolmabahçe consensus declared accordingly were ignored with one expression of Erdoğan, who said, “There is no such thing.” Furthermore, Turkish jets attacked the PKK executive center in Qandil.
With the start of the Resolution Process, “confidence building measures” had to be taken but the opposite happened and strong defense structures started to be built; therefore PKK proceeded with storing ammunition in larger provinces.
Erdoğan did not just take down the previously built agreements and structures to return to the politics of war, but started operations against People’s Democratic Party (HDP) MPs with an order, “They must pay the price.” Summaries arrived at the Parliament one after another; Parliamentary immunities started to be revoked one after another with a Constitutional amendment.
HDP Co-Chairs Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ, who were detained on November 4, 2016, were arrested together with nine other HDP MPs. Before the year 2016 ended, there were 12 arrested MPs, quickly increasing to 15. Lawsuits were filed against 55 of the 59 HDP MPs.
HDP members faced 645 different “offenses” in 510 separate summaries in the fourth month of the operations; as well as a total of 3,126 years of imprisonment and 18 times life imprisonments. Parliamentary questions, photos, social media posts, press statements and even sit-in protests were made bases for the accusations.
The Constitutional Court, on the other hand, had previously paved the way for the release of arrested Republican People’s Party (CHP) MPs within the Ergenekon Case. No, however, the Constitutional Court stated, “MPs may be arrested in remand” and decided that the arrests were “necessary” and “proportionate.” Immediately afterwards, the courts started sentencing the MPs. 11 MPs have lost their seats in the Parliament due to finalised convictions.
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) issued that Demirtaş, who is the first and only arrested Presidential candidate in the history of Modern Turkey, “must immediately be released.” The ECHR decree was not recognized. Another imprisonment sentence against Demirtaş for 4 years and eight months was fast finalised with an appeal court decree. Demirtaş was therefore convicted due to “making illegal organization propaganda” through his speech during the 2013 Newroz celebrations organized in Istanbul; he is now in prison as a “convict” and no longer “arrested.” Thus, the ECHR decree was effectively neglected.
In short, there is currently 10 HDP MPs from the 26th Session in prison, including former Co-Chairs. Hence, the third greatest party in the Turkish Parliament, after the ruling party and the main opposition party, HDP is under arrest for more than two years…