As expected, the members of the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) boycotted today's swearing-in ceremony of the new Turkish parliament to protest the exclusion of six of the party's members who are either in jail or had their eligibility to enter office stripped.
Now it seems the party might be upping the stakes in their standoff with the state and creating a kind of "shadow parliament" in the Kurdish stronghold of Diyarbakir, in southeast Turkey. From the pro-Kurdish Firat News Agency:
Labor, Democracy and Freedom Block has announced that they will continue to boycott the parliament and hold the group meetings each week in Diyarbakir until the problem of six detained deputies is resolved. Making a statement to the press on behalf of block deputies after the meeting at Diyarbakır Cigerxwin Youth Cultural Center, Siirt MP and former BDP Co-Chair Gültan Kışanak has repeated the Labor, Democracy and Freedom Block's decision to boycott the parliament. Kışanak, remarking that they are aware of their duties and responsibilities, criticized that the political power doesn't take any concrete steps towards a solution. Kışanak underlined that the YSK's decision to strip off Dicle of his legal mandate and not to release five deputies who are detained under the "KCK case" is a political coup against the solution opportunities, noting that they will continue their struggle in an active way until a solution is found to the current problems. Kışanak said; "We will hold our group meetings in Amed/Diyarbakır every week and we will perform an organized and programmed struggle." Emphasizing that the attitute of block deputies should be understood correctly, Kışanak added; "We demand the opening of the way to the process of a democratic solution and a democratic constitution. The Parliament is the address and the political actors are the addressees of the solution. The Prime Minister and the AKP are the primary responsible for a solution to the problem."
Meeting in Diyarbakir would fit into an ongoing Kurdish strategy of pushing for more political autonomy within Turkey. More on that in this previous post.