Wednesday. 17.04.2024

Turkish authorities arrested three opposition lawmakers early Friday, hours after parliament stripped them of their seats.

Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) lawmaker Enis Berberoglu and pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) lawmakers Leyla Guven and Musa Farisogullari had their status removed over court decisions against them.

The three had varying jail sentences handed down against them ranging in length up to nine years. The two HDP lawmakers were convicted of being members of an armed terrorist organization. The CHP's Berberoglu was convicted of leaking state secrets.

Guven was arrested at her apartment in the south-eastern city of Diyarbakir, while Farisogullari was arrested on his way from Diyarbakir to Sanliurfa, some 180 kilometres to the south-west, state news agency Anadolu reported. Both were sent to Diyarbakir prison.

Berberoglu was arrested at his house in Istanbul and sent to Maltepe prison on the Anatolian side of the city, Anadolu said.

Protest

A group of HDP lawmakers walked in protest on Friday from parliament to a nearby public park.

Wearing masks and holding banners that read "There is a coup" in Turkish, the lawmakers were heard shouting slogans "Putschist AKP," referring to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's ruling Justice and Development Party.

Police intervened to disperse the group after they made a short speech, according to HDP footage.

President Erdogan often targets the CHP and labels the HDP as linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

HDP, a legal political party, denies the allegations.

Turkish opposition lawmakers jailed after losing seats in parliament