Graft probe should not be red line in coalition negotiations, says CHP deputy Baykal
Cansu Çamlıbel – ANKARA
AFP PhotoDeniz Baykal, the Republican People’s Party (CHP) Antalya deputy and former leader, who held a surprise meeting with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan last week, said parties should not insist on reintroducing Turkey’s biggest ever corruption case, which engulfed four former ministers, as a red line in ongoing coalition negotiations.
“It is legally possible to [enter a motion on the corruption probe]. But you cannot put this [the corruption probe as a clause] into the coalition protocol. The constitution does not permit it,” said Baykal at the Turkish parliament, where as the oldest deputy he will serve as interim speaker until a government is formed.
Stating that one cannot put a clause into the coalition protocol for corruption that has been done, Baykal said it was “politically impossible” to come to a decision on this topic, as parliament worked in the same way as a court and one could not preemptively announce decisions that will be made at court.
Turkey faced its largest ever corruption probe when two investigations went public on Dec. 17 and Dec. 25, 2013, embroiling four former ministers and three of their sons, along with around 100 others.
After government-led reshuffling of the courts, both of the cases were later dropped and the four former ministers were acquitted of charges against them in a vote at parliament on Jan. 20.
The Justice and Development Party (AKP) government claims that the “parallel state,” a formation within the bureaucracy said to be loyal to U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, was responsible for the investigations, concocted in order to overthrow the government.