Turkish MP Kidnapped by PKK Rebels
A Turkish opposition member of parliament, Huseyin Aygun, was kidnapped Sunday with early reports indicating that the MP had been taken by members of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). Aygun, from the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), was abducted at a roadblock between the town of Ovacik and Tunceli, in eastern Turkey. On Monday morning, pro-Kurdish Firat news agency, reported that Kurdish rebels claimed responsibility for the kidnapping of a Turkish lawmaker. PKK rebels have previously kidnapped soldiers, local politicians, and tourists, but according to CHP spokesman, Haluk Koc, “For the first time, a lawmaker has been kidnapped by the terrorist organisation.”
The kidnapping has caused the CHP to intensify its calls for an extraordinary meeting of parliament, which is currently in summer recess. However, ruling Justice and Development Party Deputy Chairman, Hüseyin Çelik, said the parliament would not meet over the abduction and the death of several soldiers during a recent military operation against the PKK. “Parliament can meet if necessary, of course,” Çelik said, “but we cannot allow the organization to set the agenda just because they raided a place and killed a few soldiers.”
Meanwhile, Turkey’s Higher Education Board announced new legislation in which certain political acts, such as making political propaganda, were removed from the category of disciplinary actions in universities. The Turkish Justice Ministry recently release data showing there are currently 2,824 students in Turkish prisons, news that prompted a strong reaction from the Turkish media.