Main opposition CHP blasts 71,000 Turkish Lira compensation to former MP Merve Kavakçı
ANKARAThe main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has harshly criticized a recent decision by the Turkish Parliamentary Speaker’s Office to pay 71,000 Turkish Liras ($20,000) in compensation to former deputy Merve Kavakçı, who was recently appointed as ambassador to Kuala Lumpur, after her ban from parliament 18 years ago.
Kavakçı was banned from parliament in 1999 after joining an oath ceremony in parliament wearing a headscarf following her election as lawmaker from the now defunct Virtue Party (FP). She had also lost her Turkish citizenship after it was revealed that she had acquired citizenship of the United States without permission and without telling the necessary authorities before she ran for elections.
Her Turkish citizenship was recently reinstated after a decision from the Council of Ministers, published in the Official Gazette on July 3.
CHP Istanbul Deputy Mahmut Tanal noted Kavakçı had previously been stripped of her parliamentary status after she obtained U.S. citizenship.
“The Parliamentary Speaker’s Office is engaging in misfeasance and is also committing a constitutional crime,” Tanal said.
“Compromises on democracy have taken such a toll on this country that if Kavakçı has something to take from us, let her take it,” the party’s group deputy leader Özgür Özel said.
According to her reinstatement application, the speaker’s office will now pay compensation to Kavakçı amounting to her lawmaker’s salary between the date she was stripped of her parliamentary status, May 16, 1999, and the date when the party was shut down, June 22, 2001.
It has also been reported that parliament might pay millions of liras to Kavakçı if she presents her health expenditures to date. According to the law, all deputies’ health expenditures are provided by parliament.
In addition, Kavakçı could now be formally retired from the deputyship and could receive health services granted to all former lawmakers, along with her family. She can also use the VIP halls and obtain an entrance card to parliament, as well as a former deputy card.