Opposition parties blast Turkey’s latest decree law

Opposition parties blast Turkey’s latest decree law

Opposition parties blast Turkey’s latest decree law Opposition parties criticized two newly issued state of emergency decrees, which extended President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s powers in line with the new executive presidential system. 

The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Kurdish issue-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) particularly criticized the granting of authority to the Ankara Chief Prosecutor’s Office to investigate members of parliament for alleged crimes committed before or after an election.

CHP Deputy Chair Zeynep Altıok said the new regulations “de facto abolished” the legislative prerogative of parliament. 

CHP Parliamentary Group Chair Levent Gök stressed that the change violated one of the fundamental principles of criminal law: That local courts at the area where the crime was allegedly committed be authorized. 

Gök compared the new decree to the former state security courts, saying the authorized court for trying MPs would become the kind of special courts that were highly criticized during the controversial Ergenekon and Sledgehammer cases. 

Meanwhile, HDP spokesperson Osman Baydemir said immunities for lawmakers were “completely suspended” with the latest emergency decree, which paves the way for prosecutors to investigate lawmakers whenever they wish. 

“It is an illegal arrangement that will take from parliament the requirement to go through a necessary procedure to remove [an MP’s] immunity,” Baydemir said, adding that the government simply wants to establish another “tutelage court.”

He also criticized a second decree that tied the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) to the Presidency – rather than the Prime Ministry as before - while the president would head a new body called the National Intelligence Coordination Board (MIKK).

Baydemir warned that parliament will further lose its functions as a result of the decree laws.

Gök suggested that they opened the path for a “spy state.” 

“Erdoğan is establishing his own state. This understanding arranges intelligence about both Turkey and his party under a spy state,” he said, adding that the change showed that the president does not have any confidence in the prime minister.