Venice Commission urges Turkey to reinstate MPs’ immunities from prosecution
Güven Özalp – BRUSSELSConsidering the current situation in Turkey, it was inappropriate timing to proceed with the decision to lift the immunities, the commission said, urging Turkey to reinstate deputies’ immunities from prosecution.
The commission’s report also stressed that the dossiers prepared against parliamentarians were mostly related to issues of freedom of expression. The report said deputies’ freedoms should be expanded outside the scope of parliament and that legal proceedings should be opened only when lawmakers make calls for violent actions and directly support those who commit violent actions in their speeches.
A constitutional amendment on lifting immunities was published in the Official Gazette on June 8, opening the way for the trial of 152 legislators, amounting to 27.6 percent of the total number of seats, after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s approval.
A total of 799 cases have been opened against lawmakers, including the leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, and deputies from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), the third largest in parliament.