Jailed deputies on agenda of Eid meet

Jailed deputies on agenda of Eid meet

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Jailed deputies on agenda of Eid meet

A delegation from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) meets with Republican People’s Party (CHP) executives on the second day of Eid al-Adha. AA photo

The situation of imprisoned deputies was highlighted during a holiday meeting between a delegation from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) with the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) on Oct. 26.

During the Eid al-Adha, or Feast of Sacrifice, meeting, CHP deputy chair Bülent Tezcan, who led the delegation, said he wished to see their arrested deputies free and urged the government to accelerate efforts to find a solution to the issue of deputies under arrest.

“We could reach an agreement if parliamentary will regarding the deputies under arrest becomes clear, if it emerges. There is a protocol that had been previously made. I saw mentioning it as beneficial in these Eid days for it to bring about good,” Tezcan said.

Eight deputies are currently behind bars, all of whom are from opposition parties. Five come from the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), two are from the CHP and one is from the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP). The issue has become controversial since their election to Parliament in last year’s June elections and has led to strong pressure on the government from the international community.

In the summer of 2012, the third judicial reform package raised hope for the eight jailed deputies, but the courts rejected their release.

AKP deputy chair Mehmet Ali Şahin said his party is also annoyed by lengthy trial processes, noting that the Justice Ministry is currently working on this issue.

“Two deputies being under arrest may bother you, but I believe that this issue is a judicial issue. We wish that no one stays in prison,” he added.