Pervin Buldan (L) waves to the crowds at HDP’s conference on Sunday where she and Sezai Temelli (R) were elected co-chairs, replacing Serpil Kemalbay (C) and jailed Selahattin Demirtas. Photo: Adem Altan/AFP
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Turkey has launched a criminal investigation into the co-chair of HDP just one day after she was elected to the post.
“An investigation has been launched into lawmakers Pervin Buldan and Sirri Sureyya Onder by the chief prosecutor for the crimes of carrying out terror propaganda, inciting grudges and enmity in the public,” read a document from the prosecutor’s office, Reuters reported.
Pervin Buldan, 50, a Kurd born in Hakkari province, was elected to the position of co-chair of the pro-Kurdish HDP at the party’s congress on Sunday.
Sezai Temelli, 55, a Turk and founding member of HDP, was also elected to the co-chair position. They were elected to replace Serpil Kemalbay and jailed leader Selahattin Demirtas.
Onder is a HDP deputy for Ankara.
Buldan and Onder were being investigated after images of Abdullah Ocalan, jailed leader of the PKK, were shown at the HDP congress, AFP reported. Ankara accuses HDP of having ties with the PKK, a named terror group.
The two also allegedly made statements against the Turkey’s ongoing military operation in Afrin.
Turkey has detained 666 people for protesting the Afrin operation and spreading “terror propaganda” on social media.
HDP has been a fierce opponent of the operation, the only political party to not back the army in its cross-border offensive.
Buldan is a veteran politician. She entered politics in 2007 and is currently a HDP deputy for Istanbul and deputy speaker of the parliament.
Her husband, Savas Buldan, was abducted and killed in 1994 after he was accused of being financing the PKK. She is a member of the Saturday Mothers – group that weekly commemorates victims of extrajudicial killings.
“It is a source of honor for me to be given the position of Selahattin Demirtas who never compromised democratic and principled politics,” she told the congress.
Buldan vowed that HDP will not succumb to the pressures being exerted on the party. “HDP did not kneel despite all the pressure, and it will not kneel. Let this be a lesson,” she asserted.