Pro-Kurdish BDP ends boycott, ready to return to Parliament

BDP Chairman Selahattin Demirtaş. (Photo: Cihan)

September 28, 2011, Wednesday/ 14:42:00

The pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy (BDP), which has refused to take the oath of office and assume its seats in Parliament since the June 12 elections, on Wednesday said it will end its boycott on Saturday, when Parliament resumes following summer recess.

The BDP made the decision in a Party Council (PM) meeting held in the predominantly Kurdish province of Diyarbakır on Wednesday, Meral Danış Beştaş, a PM member said. BDP Co-chairman Selahattin Demirtaş officially announced the party's decision later on in the day.Reiterating that the initial boycott decision by the BDP was a “correct, justifiable and dignified” decision, Demirtaş said the BDP felt the need to adopt a new stance and decided to join Parliament on Oct. 1 to “defend peace against war more powerfully.” Demirtaş also said the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) was responsible for the recent spike in violence in the Southeast, adding that had the AK Party presented a solution to the boycott issue when it first occurred, the recent deaths could have been avoided.

The Democratic Society Congress (DTK), a pro-Kurdish civil society group known to have close ties to the BDP, also urged the BDP to join Parliament on Wednesday. DTK Co-chairman Ahmet Türk said they recommend the BDP return to Parliament.

BDP deputies have refused to take the oath of office and join in parliamentary proceedings in protest of the imprisonment of six BDP deputies. Thirty-six independent deputies supported by the BDP were elected in the June 12 elections. However, six of the BDP-backed deputies are currently under arrest as part of the Kurdish Communities Union (KCK) trial. The BDP made the decision to boycott after the Supreme Election Board (YSK) controversially stripped Hatip Dicle, one of the six jailed BDP deputies, of his mandate over a prior terrorism-related conviction after the June 12 vote.

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