HDP Co-chair: 560 Children Living in Turkish Jails with Mothers


Serpil Kemalbay

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Rudaw) — Some 560 children are living in Turkish jails with their mothers, stated the newly-elected co-chair of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) during a meeting with its parliamentary group on Tuesday. She criticized the government in this regard.

“There are currently 560 kids living with their mothers in the prisons. This number increases to 561 in a few days as our parliament member Burcu Celik in the Mush district has asked to be accompanied by her three-year-old child in prison,” said Serpil Kemalbay.

This was Kemalbay’s first participation in HDP’s parliamentary group meeting following her election last week as co-chair in the party’s third emergency congress. She took the opportunity to address some issues pertinent to the party.

She began by condemning the Monday night attack on a concert in Manchester in Britain that killed at least 22, including many children. “These attacks reveal that resistance should be strengthened against ISIS, which is a brutal enemy against humanity,” Kemalbay said.

“I praise all the forces who are resisting against ISIS,” she added.

Kemalbay also reflected on the ruling AKP’s slogan “democracy and change” from its own recent congress held to re-elect Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as party leader.

Do AKP really have any concerns about it, she asked. “The outcome of the congress was issuing an emergency situation forever,” she said.

At the AKP congress, Erdogan announced that the country’s state of emergency, imposed following a failed coup attempt last summer, would remain in place until Turkey is deemed secure.

Kemalbay was elected co-chair to replace the imprisoned Figen Yuksekdag.