Pro-Kurdish deputies of banned DTP to stay in Turkish Parliament as BDP members

The Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), set up last May, will be the parliamentary group of the Kurdish deputies as long as independent deputy Ufuk Uras joins it · Kurds threatened to leave the parliament after the Turkish Constitutional Court shut down the DTP party and banned 37 of its members from politics.

The Parliament of Turkey will finally continue to host pro-Kurdish deputies. After an hectic week in which the Democratic Society Party (DTP) was outlawed on December 11 for alleged links with Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), the 19 Kurdish deputies have announced they are to join a new party -the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP)- recently created as a precaution against an eventual prohibition of DTP.

DTP held 21 seats, but spokesmen Ahmet Türk and Aysel Tuğluk were disqualified and won't be allowed to participate in politics for the next 5 years. The remaining 19 deputies are left only 1 deputy away from the minimum threshold to form a parliamentary group. Former DTP deputies then threatened to boycott and leave the assembly to put the peace process launched by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan under pressure. The move would have also forced the call of early elections, as legislation establishes that the Parliament must dissolve if there are more than 28 empty seats. Had the 21 Kurdish deputies left the assembly, there would have been 27 unattended seats.

The remaining 19 deputies have finally decided to join the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP). They will get to form their own parliamentary group if an independent deputy joins them to reach the threshold of 20. It is likely that deputy Ufuk Uras joins forces with the BDP. According to, he declared that "as a deputy who has been defending peace, equality, fellowship and the idea of solving the Kurdish issue in parliament, I want all electors and all people to know that I would not hesitate to take needed steps while we are passing through this crucial period".

Photo: Ahmet Turk, former spokespan for DTP, has been banned from politics for the next 5 years.

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Further information in dossier Peoples and nations today: Kurdistan.