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Fury as three Turkish lawmakers stripped of seats

Three Turkish opposition lawmakers lost their parliament seats today over controversial terror convictions as the chamber erupted in howls of protest, opposition deputies banging on their lecterns and shouting "Down with fascism."
Enis Berberoglu, the first lawmaker from the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) to be jailed amid government purges following a failed military coup in 2016, is seen with his supporters after being released from the prison in Silivri near Istanbul, Turkey, September 20, 2018. REUTERS/Huseyin Aldemir - RC1FA81551A0

Turkey’s parliament stripped three opposition lawmakers of their parliamentary status in a stormy session today after their convictions on assorted terror charges were upheld by an appeals court. Leyla Guven and Musa Farisogllulari of the Kurdish-friendly People's Democratic Party (HDP) and Enis Berberoglu of the main secular opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) lost their seats in the 600-seat legislature. Hours later Farisogllulari was detained as he set out for Ankara from the mainly Kurdish southeast province of Diyarbakir. There followed news that Guven was detained as well.

The moves are widely seen as part of the government’s ongoing efforts to divide and neuter the opposition. Human Rights Watch Turkey director Emma Sinclair-Webb described it on Twitter as “another sign of the relentless assault on elected opposition parties” and said the three had been subjected to “politically motivated trials in which legal activities were criminalized.”

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