By Alin K. Gregorian
BOSTON — In the past week, the two co-leaders of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) in Turkey, Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag, as well as several other party members, have been arrested in Ankara. They are charged with spreading propaganda in support of the Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK). The two leaders and all the other HDP members charged vigorously deny the charges as trumped up.
Immediately in the wake of the arrests, violence erupted yet again in Diyarbakir. A car bomb went off, killing 11 and injuring scores. Later, Islamic State claimed responsibility.
The HDP party 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.
“After discussions with our parliamentary group and our central executive board, we have decided to halt our legislative efforts in light of everything that has happened,” HDP spokesman Ayhan Bilgen said in a statement read out in front of the party’s offices in Diyarbakir and broadcast online.