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Uproar in Turkey after Police Detain 3 Opposition MPs

Uproar in Turkey after Police Detain 3 Opposition MPs

Saturday, 6 June, 2020 - 04:45
Police try to disperse a march marking International Women's Day in Istanbul, Turkey, March 8, 2019. REUTERS/Kemal Aslan

The detention this week of three Turkish opposition lawmakers after they were stripped of their jobs by parliament, has triggered furious charges against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government.

The parliament controlled by Erdogan's AKP party barred an MP from the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) and two others from the Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) from serving in the assembly.

The move lifts their parliamentary immunity, paving the way for their imprisonment as courts have previously sentenced them on espionage or terror-related charges.

HDP MPs Musa Farisogullari and Leyla Guven were detained by police hours after the removal of their parliamentary mandates.

Farisogullari was taken into police custody on the way from Diyarbakir in southeast Turkey to Ankara where he planned to visit the party headquarters.

Guven, who launched a hunger strike in 2018 to end jailed Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan's isolation, said she was also taken into custody in Diyarbakir.

Police detained CHP MP Enis Berberoglu in Istanbul.

CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu denounced the move against Berberoglu as yet another step in Erdogan's continuing crackdown on the opposition since a failed 2016 coup against the president.

The Kurdish HDP party also denounced the ouster of its MPs Guven and Farisogullari as an "unlawful step.”

The government accuses the HDP of links to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) -- an armed group which has waged a bloody insurgency against the state since 1984.

Clashes erupted on Friday between police and demonstrators outside the HDP headquarters in Diyarbakir.

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