World Bulletin / News Desk
Two lawmakers of Turkey's opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), who are wanted by Turkish authorities, attended and delivered speeches at a pro-PKK demonstration in Brussels on Saturday, according to Anadolu Agency staff at the scene.
Van Deputy Tugba Hezer Ozturk and Sirnak Deputy Faysal Sariyildiz are two of the 15 HDP deputies for whom arrest orders had been issued in Turkey for failing to answer public prosecutors’ summons linked to an ongoing counter-terrorism probe. Ozturk and Sariyildiz could not be arrested because they were abroad, and now there was photographs showing the two wanted MPs were addressing pro-PKK crowds in Brussels.
Apart from HDP co-chairs Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag, the party's parliamentary group leader, Idris Baluken, Diyarbakır Deputy Nursel Aydogan, Sirnak Deputies Leyla Birlik and Ferhat Encu, Mardin Deputy Gulser Yildirim, and Hakkari Deputies Abdullah Zeydan and Selma Irmak were detained and remanded in custody in Turkey Friday. Diyarbakir Deputies Ziya Pir and Imam Tascier, and Ankara Deputy Sirri Sureyya Onder were released under judicial control.
The arrested lawmakers face prosecution under anti-terrorism laws after their parliamentary immunity was lifted earlier this year.
Lawmakers from other parties had also been summoned before public prosecutors but only HDP deputies refused to testify.
Among the charges HDP lawmakers face are alleged offenses of spreading terrorist propaganda in relation to comments made in October 2014, after ISIL militants entered the Syrian border town of Kobani, also known as Ayn Al-Arab. Demirtas and other HDP figures had urged residents to take to the streets. The ensuing week of violent demonstrations left dozens of people dead, including two police officers and saw hundreds of people injured.
The government has accused the HDP of having links to the PKK, which is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the EU and U.S.