Parliament, except CHP, indifferent to bid for jailed deputy’s release
ANKARAParliament Speaker Cemil Çiçek has said the only positive response so far received to his proposal aimed at securing the release of a jailed lawmaker from the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) was from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP).
“Apart from the CHP, no written support has come up to now,” Çiçek said yesterday in response to questions from reporters.
MHP deputy Engin Alan, who was convicted to 28 years in prison in the Balyoz (Sledgehammer) coup case trial and whose sentence was approved by the Supreme Court of Appeals in October, is still behind bars. Other lawmakers whose sentences had not been finalized were previously released after an intervention from the Constitutional Court.
Çiçek’s proposal is based on a legal amendment outlining a delay in the execution of a lawmaker’s criminal sentence until the end of the current Parliament’s mandate in a bid to release Alan. Çiçek's proposal was sent to all parties represented at Parliament on May 7.
However, a number of MHP executives, including leader Devlet Bahçeli, do not approve of the proposal. They argued that such an act would equalize the situations of Alan with People’s Democracy Party (HDP) co-chair Sebahat Tuncel, whose eight-year sentence on charges of being a member of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), was approved by the Supreme Court of Appeals in late December.