Turkey to release imprisoned lawmakers, claims HDP deputy

Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) lawmakers in parliament.

Turkey’s Constitutional Court will release imprisoned Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) lawmakers, the opposition party’s Adana deputy has claimed.

Speaking to Turkish language channel KRT, Meral Danis Bestas, who was released last week after spending five months in jail on terror charges, said the 12 HDP lawmakers would be released soon.

An attempt to block Bestas’s release by the Diyarbakir Public Prosecutor was dismissed by the Constitutional Court, amid claims of wrangling between different wings of the government.

Commentators have speculated that different wings within the government are in disagreement over the approach to Turkey’s longstanding Kurdish question, with one favouring a military solution and a smaller faction wanting to release HDP lawmakers to normalise conditions.

The HDP has slammed the crackdown on the party, saying the jailing of lawmakers and thousands of members is a political operation by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

Meanwhile the Kurdish-issue focused party’s Van deputy, Lezgin Botan, has refuted claims of a return to a ‘solution process’ between the government and Kurdish groups.

Speaking to the ANF news agency, Botan said claims of a new solution process were unfounded and designed to “manipulate the perception of the people.”

Both parliamentarians said the majority of Kurdish voters had refused the government’s policy in the southeast of the country and voted against the constitutional reforms.

Government officials have claimed Kurdish citizens voted overwhelmingly for the constitutional changes that have given President Recep Tayyip Erdogan sweeping powers.

The referendum was marred by claims of widespread fraud and irregularities, especially in the majority Kurdish southeast.