Parliament lifts HDP lawmaker’s immunity

Parliament lifts HDP lawmaker’s immunity

Parliament lifts HDP lawmaker’s immunity

The Turkish Parliament on late March 1 lifted the immunity of Semra Güzel, a lawmaker from the ranks of the People’s Democracy Party (HDP), by a majority of votes.

Güzel, whose photos with a PKK terrorist were emerged, will be prosecuted over terror links.

The parliament voted the reports by the parliamentary panels who decided that Güzel’s legislative immunity should be revoked as her photos with a PKK terrorist proves her links with terrorist organizations.

PKK terrorist Volkan Bora was killed in an operation in April 2017 in the southeastern province of Mardin. As part of an investigation, security forces examined Bora’s cellular phone and found pictures taken in a PKK camp in northern Iraq, which showed Bora and Güzel together.

The Justice Ministry then launched a process against the lawmaker and asked the parliament to take action against her so that she could be prosecuted.

Saruhan Uluç, HDP deputy parliamentary group leader who defended on behalf of Güzel, argued that paying a visit to a PKK camp alone is not enough for launching a prosecution and labeling those who go to such camps as a member of a terrorist organization. He also recalled that the visit was paid during the peace process in which the government and the PKK were in talks for a negotiated solution.

“It’s obvious that the government’s objective is to ban the HDP,” he said, adding that revoking the immunity of HDP lawmakers was in violation of the constitution and European Convention of Human Rights.