Cross-border mandate in Parliament

Cross-border mandate in Parliament

Cross-border mandate in Parliament

urkish President Abdullah Gül will address members of Parliament today after the General Assembly is convened.

Parliament will begin its new legislative year today, with a government motion to extend cross-border operations against Kurdish militants in northern Iraq topping the agenda.

The government motion for a one-year extension of the Turkish military’s authorization to stage cross-border operations was already submitted to Parliament in late September. Parliament’s General Assembly will discuss the motion on Oct. 4 as the current mandate expires on Oct. 17.

Potentially overshadowing the cross-border raid extension, however, is a move to lift the immunity of nine lawmakers – although such a motion is not yet on the commission’s agenda.

Immunity talks

Both the governing Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) have already declared that they will vote to lift the immunity of the nine Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) deputies, including co-chair Gültan Kışanak, if a summary of proceedings is introduced in Parliament. These lawmakers were seen hugging and warmly chatting with outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants in the eastern province of Hakkari’s Şemdinli district in August.

At the time, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan openly called on the judiciary to take action against the BDP deputies, hinting that his party would act to lift their immunity when the issue comes to Parliament.

Last week, several reports said the top provincial prosecutor in the eastern province of Van were close to finalizing his file about the BDP lawmakers before sending it to the Parliament via the Justice Ministry and the Prime Ministry.

President Abdullah Gül will address members of Parliament today after the General Assembly is convened under the direction of Parliamentary Speaker Cemil Çiçek.

The parliamentary speaker traditionally hosts a reception to mark the opening of the new legislative year, but Çiçek already chose to cancel the Oct. 1 reception to pay respect to the soldiers and police officers killed in a recent escalation in terrorist attacks, marking the second consecutive year in which the reception has been canceled due to terrorism.

The Parliamentary Constitution Commission will also discuss on Oct. 4 a constitutional amendment proposal to hold early local elections.The proposal was drafted by the AKP and has received the backing of the MHP.