MOSCOW (Sputnik) — In early January, Erdogan called for the HDP's leadership to be stripped of their parliamentary immunity for the "constitutional crime" of calling for more autonomy in the southeastern Anatolia region.
"Motions [to remove the immunity of HDP deputies] should not be let to rot on the shelves of Parliament. Necessary action must be taken," Erdogan said in a speech addressing the heads of rural and neighborhood administrations, as quoted by the Today's Zaman newspaper.
The HDP, which holds 59 of the 550 seats in the Turkish parliament, has been accused of having ties with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), a militant group that is seeking independence for Turkey's southeastern Kurdish-dominated regions and considered a terrorist organization by Ankara.
Formed in 2012, the HDP became the first Kurdish-associated political party to reach the 10 percent threshold needed to secure representation in parliament during Turkey's June 2015 elections.