Clashes have erupted between protesters and police in Turkey after Kurdish politicians resigned en masse from parliament over a Constitutional Court ruling which banned their party..
The verdict, which has raised concerns in the EU and Washington, has plunged the predominantly Muslim country into political uncertainty and dealt Ankara’s bid to join the European Union another blow. The Democratic Society Party, or DTP, was found guilty of cooperating with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party. DTP Chairman Ahmet Turk said: “From this day we are actually withdrawing from parliament. We will not participate in parliament but I hope everyone will think about today, tomorrow and the future one more time.” Turk is among the 37 members of the DTP banned from politics for five years over alleged links with PKK separatists. The mass resignation – which includes 19 MPs not implicated in the legal action – could kill off Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan’s efforts to reconcile minority Kurds with the state. The crisis has left Turkey expecting trouble with commentators predicting a political earthquake. As one newspaper headline put it: “The Pigeon Is barred But The Falcon Is Free.” The DTP commands strong support in the mainly Kurdish southeast, controlling nearly 100 municipalities. It is unclear who its supporters will back now the party has been closed down.