Long detentions pose political problem, Parliamentary Speaker Çiçek says

Long detentions pose political problem, Parliamentary Speaker Çiçek says

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Long detentions pose political problem, Parliamentary Speaker Çiçek says

Parliamentary Speaker Çiçek’s remarks come in the wake of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s criticism of lengthy detention periods of army officers. AA photo

Lengthy detention periods are “a serious wound” for Turkey with the cases of detained deputies specifically having turned into “a political problem,” Parliamentary Speaker Cemil Çiçek has said.

In an interview with A Haber news channel, Çiçek said the judiciary has not been able to resolve the problem of lengthy detentions. “Whereas, the judiciary exists for resolving problems, unfortunately the issue of lengthy detentions comes in front of us as a problem. The judiciary has to resolve this in some way [since] as long as the problem remains unresolved [the judiciary] itself becomes a topic for discussion.”

Due to the circumstances regarding detained deputies, the judiciary has seen the issue of lengthy detention time turn into “a political problem,” he said.

“The issue of detained lawmakers has been present for two years. The individuals who were elected reached the half of the period of being elected; trials are not yet over,” he 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 main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and one is from the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP). The issue has become controversial since their election to Parliament in the June 2011 elections and has led to strong pressure on the government from the international community.

In the summer of 2012, a third judicial reform package that expanded the use of the judicial control mechanism raised hope for the eight jailed deputies, but the courts rejected their release.

No permission

In a related development BDP Şırnak deputy Selma Irmak, who has been under arrest in Diyarbakır Prison due to a case concerning the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK), the alleged urban wing of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), was allowed to travel to her hometown Kızıltepe, Mardin, due to her father’s ailing death. However, the prosecutor didn’t allow Irmak to attend her father’s funeral ceremony after he died.

Çiçek, meanwhile, pointed a finger at Germany among many other countries, which he said were not lending sufficient support to Turkey’s fight against terrorism.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel should get well prepared on this issue for her upcoming visit to Turkey, he added, while noting that a considerable number of terrorist organizations against the state of the Republic of Turkey were active in Germany.