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Ex-Kurdish party leaders ask DTP deputies not to resign

17 December 2009 [10:50] - TODAY.AZ
Leaders of a number of Kurdish parties that were shut down by the Constitutional Court for separatist activities have called on members of the now-defunct Democratic Society Party (DTP) not to resign from Parliament.

After their party was disbanded last week, DTP deputies decided on Monday to resign from Parliament. Şerafettin Elçi, the former leader of the Democratic Mass Party (DKP), which was closed in 1999, said DTP deputies should keep their seats in Parliament for the interests of the nation. “Kurds grasped the chance to represent themselves in Parliament after long years of pressure. [DTP] Deputies may believe that they were subjected to injustice, but they should not leave Parliament,” he noted.

The former leader of the Democracy and Change Party (DDP), İbrahim Aksoy, said DTP deputies should not resign at a time when Turkey is discussing ways to settle the decades-old Kurdish question. The DDP was shut down in 1996. “The place to seek rights and voice demands is Parliament. I don’t think it is wise to leave Parliament. Doing so is to turn a blind eye to millions of people who voted for the party. This is an opportunity taken once in four years. They need to evaluate this thoroughly,” he stated.

Last Friday, the Constitutional Court also ruled to rescind the parliamentary membership of DTP leader Ahmet Türk and the party’s former co-chair, Aysel Tuğluk. Thirty-five other members of the DTP, including some of its founders, have been banned from politics for the next five years.

The DTP had 21 deputies in Parliament. With Türk and Tuğluk having lost their status as deputies, the remaining 19 can continue to serve in Parliament if they do not resign.

The former leader of the People’s Labor Party (HEP), which was shut down in 1993, said DTP deputies should continue to search for solutions to the problems of the country’s Kurds through democratic and legal means. “Kurds should never give up the democratic struggle. Parliament is a place to embrace freedoms. Resigning from Parliament means wasting around 2.5 million votes given to the party,” stated Feridun Yazar.

/Todays Zaman/

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