‘Lifting immunities will hurt democracy’

‘Lifting immunities will hurt democracy’

‘Lifting immunities will hurt democracy’

Lifting the immunities of deputies would deal a serious blow to Turkey’s democracy and the decision would be a political one, Buldan (C) says. AA photo

Lifting the immunities of 10 deputies backed by the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) would deal a serious blow to Turkey’s democracy, according to the party’s parliamentary group chair, Pervin Buldan.

The legislature could choose to end immunity for all lawmakers except for MPs’ immunity for comments that occur in Parliament, Buldan said at a press conference in Ankara yesterday, adding that merely targeting BDP members would constitute a political decision rather than a legal one.

The BDP will also display a political stance vis-à-vis such decision, she said.

“In the event that only BDP members’ immunities are lifted, Turkey’s democracy will be the losing party. The decision to be made should be very correct. This decision will determine Turkey’s future,” Buldan said.

Nine lawmakers from the (BDP), including co-chair Gültan Kışanak, plus Aysel Tuğluk, an independent lawmaker backed by the party, were seen embracing and warmly chatting with outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants in the eastern province of Hakkari’s Şemdinli district on Aug. 17.

Following a two-month-long examination, the Van Prosecutors’ Office asked for permission to open an investigation into the BDP deputies on charges of providing aid to the PKK.

The prosecutor has demanded an annulment of the deputies’ parliamentary immunity and jail sentences of five to 10 years.