Gül at odds with AKP over jailed MPs

Gül at odds with AKP over jailed MPs

Gül at odds with AKP over jailed MPs

İzmir deputy from the Republican People’s Party and columnist Mustafa Balbay has been in prison since March 2009 and was kept alone for more than one year. Hürriyet photo

President Abdullah Gül has reiterated his position in favor of the release of the lawmakers currently in jail, even though the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has rejected a joint opposition proposal to resolve the problem and left the issue to the courts.

“You know my views on the subject. I have said previously that I’d like to see all of them in Parliament,” Gül told reporters before departing for the United States yesterday.

“I will not go into any further polemics,” Gül added.

Securing release

In an effort to secure the release of the eight deputies, the three opposition parties agreed last month on a legal amendment, under which lawmakers would have been included in the scope of exemptions from pre-trial detention. Gül had expressed optimism that the proposal would resolve the problem, but the Justice and Development Party killed off the initiative, arguing that such an amendment would set a precedent that might pave the way for “terrorists” to enter Parliament.


The Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), meanwhile, submitted a motion for a parliamentary inquiry into the situation of the jailed deputies.

The motion calls for an examination of all rights breaches concerning elected officials, including scores of members of BDP local administrations who have been rounded up as part of the massive probe into the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK).