Bloomberg News

Pro-Kurdish Lawmakers to Join Turkish Parliament; Call for Peace

September 28, 2011

Sept. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Lawmakers from the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party, or BDP, will end their three-month boycott of Turkey’s parliament and hope to establish peace when it reconvenes Oct. 1, co-head Selahattin Demirtas said.

The BDP’s protest was just and legitimate, Demirtas said today in televised comments from Diyarbakir. The party aimed to prevent a resumption of war with its boycott, he said.

Since the June 12 elections, when Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s party won 50 percent of the popular vote, attacks by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, classed as a terrorist organization, have increased and Turkey has responded by stepping up its fight against the group, including airstrikes on its bases in northern Iraq.

The governing Justice and Development Party is responsible for barring five jailed BDP members from joining the Ankara parliament, nullifying the election of one politician and arresting party members under an investigation, leading to the boycott, Demirtas said today.

The BDP aims pave the way for democratic negotiations to establish peace, Demirtas said, calling on everyone to act more thoughtfully in the process.

To contact the reporter on this story: Emre Peker in Ankara at epeker2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Bryant at sbryant5@bloomberg.net


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