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  • A woman looks at a building, which was damaged during the security operations and clashes between Turkish security forces and Kurdish militants.

    A woman looks at a building, which was damaged during the security operations and clashes between Turkish security forces and Kurdish militants. | Photo: Reuters

Published 3 August 2016

“They are trying to create reconciliation by ignoring us, the will of some 6 million citizens," said HDP co-president Figen Yuksekdag.

The pro-Kurdish HDP said the government has betrayed the Kurdish people by excluding the party from discussions on how to shape Turkish society following the attempted coup.

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“All meetings, summits formed were made with political actors other than the HDP,” said HDP co-president Figen Yuksekdag. “They are trying to create reconciliation by ignoring us, the will of some 6 million citizens. They will not succeed. We do not disappear when they ignore us.”

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Monday that he would suspend the more than 3,000 criminal and defamation cases he has brought against politicians and organizations but would not forgive any HDP politician. Turkey moved to lift parliamentary immunity in June, meaning that opposition representatives could be arrested for propaganda against the state.

Erdogan withdrew cases against Kemal Kilicdaroglu, head of the secular CHP and Devlet Bahceli, head of the nationalist Islamist MHP, who separately met with Prime Minister Binali Yildirim on Monday to discuss amending the constitution.

In an effort to tighten strategic control over the southeastern region, Turkey's parliament will vote to move the capitals of two mainly Kurdish provinces, according to draft legislation submitted Tuesday.

Sections of the two new capitals were demolished in fighting earlier this year between Turkish troops and the Kurdish PKK guerrilla.

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The HDP won all seven parliamentary seats in the area in last November's general election. "This suppresses identities and is an act of revenge," HDP lawmaker Selma Irmak tweeted.

The law, first introduced by former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, would move the administrative capital of Hakkari province from the mountain town of Hakkari, near the Iraqi and Iranian borders, to the larger town of Yuksekova on a nearby plain. Hakkari would also be renamed Colemerik, a corruption of its older Kurdish name Colemerg, and be downgraded to district status.

The province would be renamed Yuksekova, after its new capital, according to a copy of the bill drawn up by the ruling AK Party.

Just to the west, Sirnak province would shift its capital from the mountain town of Sirnak to the plains city of Cizre near the Syrian border. The province's name would change from Sirnak to Cizre and Sirnak, which would become a district, would be renamed Nuh.

The PKK launched its insurgency in Hakkari province in 1984 and over 40,000 people, mostly Kurds, have died in the fighting since then. Cizre was also the site of a February special forces operation that burned over 150 civilians alive.

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