Semra Güzel: Pro-Kurdish MP arrested in Turkey

Semra Güzel pkk Kurdish

Turkish police arrested a pro-Kurdish member of parliament after photos were published showing him with members of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), recognised by Ankara as a terrorist organisation.

Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu announced that MP Semra Güzel of the Peoples' Democracy Party (HDP) was arrested while traveling in northwestern Turkey and in possession of "a fake passport".

Parliament lifted her immunity after pro-government media released photos of her with armed PKK fighters.

Turkish authorities consider the HDP a political arm of the PKK and have initiated procedures that could lead to the party being banned. The HDP, for its part, denies that it maintains ties with the PKK, but some of its members have relations with the wanted rebels or refuse to condemn their actions.

Many HDP members were arrested in the crackdown that followed the 2016 coup attempt.

It is recalled that a proposal by HDP deputy Garo Paylan for recognition of the Armenian Genocide sparked debate among the political parties of Turkey.

Paylan submitted the bill “Recognition of the Armenian Genocide, Removal of the Names of Genocide Perpetrators from the Public Domain” to the parliament speaker’s office on April 22.

Parliament speaker Mustafa Şentop returned Paylan’s bill on the grounds that it was contrary to the provisions of the rules of procedure.

Making a statement regarding the bill, Paylan said, “The only society that can heal the wounds of the Armenian people is the Turkish society, and the only parliament is the Turkish parliament.

“The Armenian genocide took place in these lands and justice can only be achieved in these lands, in Turkey,” Paylan added.

“This is an immoral offer,” ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) spokesperson Ömer Çelik said, referring to the proposal.

His party rejects and strongly condemns the proposal which is “based on unfounded” allegations about the events that took place in the Ottoman Empire in 1915, Çelik tweeted.

This is despite an academic consensus that the Armenian, Greek and Assyrian Genocide occurred.

İYİ (Good) Party leader Akşener also condemned Paylan’s move. “I strongly condemn the impudency that tries to make our nation bow down with the so-called ‘genocide’ proposal,” she said and emphasised that they have a history “to be proud of.”

READ MORE: Pakistan: “Congratulations Turkey, you defeated the [Greek] army - We honour Mustafa Kemal.”