Turkish Parliament convenes over corruption claims
The General Assembly will discuss the summary of proceedings on four former Cabinet ministers facing corruption allegations if the meeting reaches the quorum of 184 lawmakers. AA photoParliament will convene in an extraordinary session this afternoon, as a result of the three opposition parties’ demand to discuss the summary of proceedings on four former Cabinet ministers facing corruption allegations.
If the meeting reaches the quorum of 184 lawmakers, the General Assembly will discuss the issue. The calls of the main opposition Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) call and Parliament Speaker Cemil Çiçek will be read first. It is still unclear whether the documents of the summary of proceedings will be open to lawmakers or not.
If deputies are not allowed to examine them, then opposition parties will begin discussions to devise an alternative method. Parliament, which is currently closed for recess ahead of the March 30 local elections, will not discuss any other topics.
The CHP will ask for the summary of proceedings to be read at Parliament and open them to the scrutiny of lawmakers, Akif Hamzaçebi, the deputy group chairman of the party, told reporters on March 18.
The late delivery of the summary of proceedings to Parliament is also subject to the discussions of opposition parties. Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ had returned the summaries to the prosecutor who was replaced by the government after the graft probe. It was then delivered to Parliament after changes were made by the new prosecutor.
The summary of proceedings on four former Cabinet ministers facing allegations of corruption would be subject to confidentiality in Parliament, as in the judicial process. Deputies therefore cannot be examined until an investigation commission is established at Parliament, Bozdağ said on March 17.
The summary of proceedings could only be opened for examination by parliamentary investigation commission members after the commission is established, he added.
The extraordinary Parliament session represents a landmark development since Dec. 17, 2013, when a massive corruption and graft probe engulfing the prime minister, some of his Cabinet members and their sons first went public.
The summary of proceedings about former Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan, former EU Minister Egemen Bağış, former Interior Minister Muammer Güler and former Urbanization and Environment Planning Minister Erdoğan Bayraktar arrived at the office of the parliamentary speaker two weeks ago.
These proceedings reportedly contain serious claims of corruption regarding these former ministers.
The sons of three ministers were released only recently, pending trial. They are accused of engaging in bribery with Azeri-origin businessman Reza Sarrab worth tens of millions of euros.