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Turkey Moves to Prosecute Most Pro-Kurdish Party Lawmakers

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  • Parliament votes 376 to 140 to pass constitutional amendment
  • Erdogan has pushed for the lawmakers to be tried for terrorism

Turkey moved closer to putting many of its leading Kurdish politicians on trial on Friday, as parliament passed a constitutional amendment depriving almost all elected lawmakers from the main pro-Kurdish party of their legal immunity.

The measure received 376 votes, above the threshold that allows President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to ratify it without the need to take it to a referendum. While the amendment also lifts immunity from other parties’ lawmakers, the Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party, or HDP, is its main target. The HDP has 59 of the legislature’s 550 lawmakers: a total of 405 cases have been opened against 50 of those 59, most related to terrorism charges.