AKP warned to assign members to graft inquiry commission
Nuray BABACAN ANKARA / Hürriyet
Parliamentary Speaker Cemil Çiçek (L) shakes hands with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Ankara in this file photo. AA photoThe parliamentary speaker’s office has sent its second warning to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) to nominate its members to the Parliament’s Corruption Investigation Commission.
The AKP’s inaction has triggered harsh criticism from the opposition, claiming, “They do not want the commission to work before the elections.” Parliamentary speaker Cemil Çiçek responded to the criticism saying he does not do what is needed to be done by saying “I do not have tanks and cannons. We have warned them and we are waiting.”
Despite the General Assembly of Parliament deciding on May 5 to investigate former Cabinet ministers Zafer Çağlayan, Egemen Bağış, Muammer Güler and Erdoğan Bayraktar, who have been accused of corruption and bribery, the commission has not been formed yet. Çiçek warned all political parties to appoint their members on May 13. This time, Çiçek only sent a warning to the AKP. In the letter, a warning was made to urgently name their commission members. Despite the warning being sent last week, the AKP has not cited any individuals.
While talking to daily Hürriyet in Parliament, Çiçek said they have completed a preliminary scan of all of the members of Parliament. The commission members would work as public prosecutors, Çiçek said, adding, “We have researched whether or not the deputies have given their opinions on the matter.” According to internal regulation Article 109, only deputies who have not given their opinions can become commission members, Çiçek reminded.
“Those who have criticized [the former ministers] beforehand are viewing the situation politically, but the commission to be formed will carry out a legal process. It will practice a criminal procedure. If they are going to be prosecutors, they should not be prejudiced. We will scan the suggested members and see if they have expressed any opinions before, such as calling the people in question ‘thieves or unlawful.’ Then, we will take that into consideration,” Çiçek said.
He also said they have warned the AKP administration both orally and in written form to name their members immediately.
The commission will compare the people suggested and make a decision, Çiçek said, adding, “I cannot monitor which deputy has said what, like an agent; but if the internal regulation demands that of us, then let’s say somebody has openly declared his or her opinion and he or she is elected for the commission. If the former ministers oppose or if they take it to the Constitutional Court, then what will happen? The investigation conducted will be considered entirely null. We are taking measures for this not to happen. There are rules and we have to comply with them.”