Ousted HDP MP Gergerlioğlu spends night on couch in parliament, continues his resistance

Elected deputy from pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party (HDP) Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu spent the night on a couch in the HDP offices in parliament as a continuation of his resistance against his stripping of MP status because of a social media post. The Turkish Parliament removed Gergerlioğlu's MP status on March 17, in a move that was widely viewed as violating the will of the people.

Duvar English

Elected deputy from pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party (HDP) Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu spent the night on a couch in the party's offices in parliament to continue his resistance against the removal of his MP status on March 17. 

Gergerlioğlu's parliamentary status was removed as part of a lawsuit against him that prosecuted a social media post he made, but the deputy refused to leave the parliament to resist Ankara's breach of the people's will. 

"My deputyship was dropped yesterday, but I chose the path of resistance. I was in the general assembly, and then I went to the HDP meeting room, where we stayed until late hours of the night," Gergerlioğlu said in a video he shared on March 18.

A group of HDP officials are seen in the party's parliament meeting room in the late hours of March 17, as they accompany Gergerlioğlu in his resistance. 

"I spent the night here, on this couch right here," Gergerlioğlu said, showing his followers the couch that he slept on in the HDP room. 

'I resist. We resist," he said. 

The deputy is on a "watch for the people's will," he said in his video, meaning that he was an official elected by the public who was being stripped of his authority, hence the power of the people. 

Gergerlioğlu received widespread support both domestically and internationally, which he attributes to the illegality and the injustice of the ruling against him, he said. 

"The people gave me this deputyship, and only the people can take it away. I lean my back on the people, and I expect their support."

The deputy previously filed an appeal against the ruling about his deputyship with the Constitutional Court, and said that he was not planning on leaving parliament until the top court ruled. 

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is known for legal prosecution of their critics, civilians or else, but Ankara's attack on the HDP is considered to be encouraged by ruling alliance partner Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).

The seats for both the AKP and the MHP were abandoned in the general assembly hall following the reading of the ruling against Gergerlioğlu, and the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) also failed to adopt a strong stance in defending the country's second largest opposition party. 

On March 18, CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu condemned the Court of Cassation for the closure lawsuit they filed against the HDP and said that all parties were allowed to express their viewpoints. 

Ankara should stop employing the party closure solution to their problems, Kılıçdaroğlu said, adding that "defending democracy is defending human rights."