Turkey's main opposition CHP cautious on MHP’s amnesty bill

Turkey's main opposition CHP cautious on MHP’s amnesty bill

Turkeys main opposition CHP cautious on MHP’s amnesty bill

The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) defends a cautious approach to the Nationalist Movement Party’s (MHP) proposal for amnesty to certain convicts, party’s spokesperson has said, stating that the issue is too important to comment beforehand.

“There isn’t anything concrete yet. For this to happen, the ruling party should reveal its position first. The subject of amnesty is very important and it should be monitored very carefully,” Faik Öztrak said after the party’s Central Executive Board (MYK) meeting on Aug. 27.

The CHP spokesman’s remarks came after the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) completed the preparation of a draft bill granting amnesty to convicts, which was one of the election manifestos of the party prior to the June 24 elections.

The MHP’s eight-article amnesty draft bill excludes prisoners convicted on charges of membership to a terror organization, such as the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) or the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ). The bill also excludes granting amnesty to inmates convicted over charges of child abuse and femicide, state-run Anadolu Agency reported on Aug. 26.

The draft bill’s general framework was outlined by MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli and put down on paper by a committee consisting of the party’s legal experts, under the guidance of MHP Vice Chair Feti Yıldız, the agency said.

Yıldız told the agency their committee had analyzed a total of 52 amnesties granted to prisoners in the history of the Turkish Republic so far in order to prepare the draft bill.

“As the committee, we have all together analyzed these amnesties and have reduced sentences along with the positive and negative effects they have left on society,” he said.

“There are reductions, amnesties and suspensions of sentences. Of course, while we consider the families of inmates, we also have to consider those who have been harmed and the victims of relevant crimes,” Yıldız said, adding it was not their intention to pardon people “who took on crime as a profession.”

Economy is a priority

Meanwhile, CHP spokesman Öztrak stated that the main agenda of the top executive board of the CHP was the current state of the economy in Turkey.

He stated that the social democrat party will set up “a crisis desk” on Aug. 28, and “talk through what can be done for the economy.”

“The U.S. dollar has hit 6 Turkish Liras but the government is in joy stating that it has the dollar under control. If the measures that the government takes are not transparent, they will not mean anything,” Öztrak said.