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Pro-Kurdish party: 'Erdogan’s government trying to intimidate us ahead of referendum'

 Ankara/Diyarbakir, Feb.23.─ Co-chairs of the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag faced increasing pressures on Tuesday, with Demirtas being sentenced to a prison sentence of five months, while Yuksekdag was stripped of her status as a member of parliament ahead of the Turkish presidential referendum in April.

The HDP said that ongoing arrests of its members since the failed coup in July 2016 are part of an attempt by the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to exclude the Kurds from the referendum.

“The revocation of HDP Co-Chair Figen Yüksekdag’s membership in parliament as a fait accompli is unacceptable. The revoking of her position in parliament once again tramples the constitution, and it is an effort to give the government’s political decision the appearance of legality,” the Central Executive Board of the HDP said.

“The Erdogan-AKP government is trying to overcome its own political deadlock as well as Turkey’s social and economic crisis by violating the law and attacking the HDP. It has become clear that the Erdogan-AKP government will not be able to attain the referendum results they expect within the context of this crisis, so they are once again resorting to the same foul methods they’ve used in the past,” the HDP said ...

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