Europe

Pro-Kurdish party limits its actions in Turkish parliament

  • A Kurdish demonstrator holds a flag featuring kurdish PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan during a rally to protest against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, at Republique Square in Paris, Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016Authorities in Turkey detained 11 pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) lawmakers early Friday as part of ongoing terror-related investigations, including both party co-chairs Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag and other senior officials, the Interior Ministry said. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

    A Kurdish demonstrator holds a flag featuring kurdish PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan during a rally to protest against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, at Republique Square in Paris, Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016Authorities in Turkey detained 11 pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) lawmakers early Friday as part of ongoing terror-related investigations, including both party co-chairs Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag and other senior officials, the Interior Ministry said. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)  (The Associated Press)

  • A civilian, left, and a security officer beat a protester as riot police use water cannons to disperse people protesting the detentions of 12 lawmakers from pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party, or HDP, in Istanbul, Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016. (AP Photo/Cagdas Erdogan)

    A civilian, left, and a security officer beat a protester as riot police use water cannons to disperse people protesting the detentions of 12 lawmakers from pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party, or HDP, in Istanbul, Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016. (AP Photo/Cagdas Erdogan)  (The Associated Press)

  • Riot police use water cannons to disperse people protesting the detentions of 12 lawmakers from pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party, or HDP, in Istanbul, Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016. (AP Photo/Cagdas Erdogan)

    Riot police use water cannons to disperse people protesting the detentions of 12 lawmakers from pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party, or HDP, in Istanbul, Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016. (AP Photo/Cagdas Erdogan)  (The Associated Press)

Turkey's pro-Kurdish party has decided to halt its legislative activities in parliament following the arrest of nine of its lawmakers.

Yet Ayhan Bilgen, a spokesman for the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), told The Associated Press on Sunday that the party will not withdraw from parliament, saying that decision can only "be made in consultation with the people."

HDP co-leaders Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag were arrested Friday on terrorism-related charges, along with seven other lawmakers. The move prompted messages of concern from the U.S. and Europe that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is using the pursuit of terrorists to detain opposition members.

The HDP entered parliament last year as the nation's third-largest party. In May, Turkey's parliament voted to strip lawmakers of legal immunity, paving the way for the arrests.