A government-backed campaign to strip nine Kurdish MPs of their immunity from prosecution could take Turkey back to the future in its decades-long conflict over Kurdish rights.
In the 1990s, fighting between the Turkish army and Kurdish rebels in the country’s southeast claimed over 40,000 lives, and led to the displacement or imprisonment of thousands of citizens. Now, amid the worst violence in more than a decade, many observers fear that ethnic Kurds’ rights may again be sharply curtailed in the interest of national security.
Pressure to lift the Kurdish MPs’ immunity has been building since the group was filmed in late August embracing alleged fighters from the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) after the fighters stopped the deputies’ convoy on a road in the southeastern Hakkari region.
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Dorian Jones is a freelance reporter based in Istanbul.