PM calls on judiciary to nix BDP immunity
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
With a message to prosecutors, PM Erdoğan takes on BDP deputies’ immunity. AA photoPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has criticized Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) lawmakers, rebuffing their threat to leave the Parliament if their parliamentary immunity is lifted as Erdoğan had called for, adding that they the “butlers of their armed masters.”
“The terrorist organization and its affiliates will make a choice: Parliament or Kandil [the mountain range, where the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) has its camps]. If they want to remain in Parliament they will receive respect and will be welcomed. If they say ‘No,’ then there is only one place for them to go: Kandil. They can go wherever they [want to] go,” Erdoğan said in an address to members of his Justice and Development Party on Sept. 9.
Tense relations between the BDP and the government became further strained after some BDP lawmakers were seen hugging PKK militants near Şemdinli in the Hakkari province last month. Erdoğan openly called on the judiciary to take action against these BDP deputies, hinting that his party would act to lift their immunity when the issue comes to the Parliament.
“You hug terrorists, embrace them and then you say ‘we wanted to say hello.’ The address of the greeting has changed. The pictures in the media already amount to very serious criminal complaints. I believe the justice system will do what is necessary. And then we will do what is necessary, if the job falls to us,” Erdoğan said. “Parliament is not a sleazy motel.”
The BDP has threatened to leave Parliament if its deputies were stripped of their legal immunity. Erdoğan, however, has dismissed this threat, saying BDP lawmakers should “go wherever they want to go if they cannot produce policy.” Depicting the BDP as the “butlers” of their “armed masters” the PKK, Erdoğan accused the BDP of lacking the courage to break its ties with the PKK, and of therefore sabotaging public peace.
“My Kurdish brothers are already being represented in the Parliament by the AKP,” Erdoğan said, adding that his party embraces all of Turkey’s 75 million people.
Erdoğan also lashed out at the PKK, which has recently escalated its terrorist attacks against troops and civilians, including the abduction of politicians from opposition parties and the government.
“Allow me to remind you of something: What you are doing augers no good. We are showing patience now. But our patience is not endless and our attitude will change,” he said, adding that military operations would continue.
PM complains of lynching campaign
Regarding reactions against the government in the aftermath of a recent ammunition depot blast in Afyonkarahisar that killed 25 soldiers, Erdoğan admitted the right of the public to criticize and to question whether there had been some misdoings, but said the criticism had gone too far and become a lynching campaign against the government and the military.
“I speak very openly as I am aware of the game and of the scenario. Trying to provoke people, to break the motivation of [military] personnel and to defame institutions is, to put it mildly, irresponsible and villainous. While these gentlemen enjoy themselves along the Bosphorus, sipping their alcoholic beverages, governors, soldiers, police, village guards and intelligence personnel are waging a life-and-death struggle there [in southeastern Turkey],” Erdoğan said. “These gentlemen who dare to criticize the chief of General Staff and the head of the public exam agency, what makes them qualified to do so? Who gave you this eligibility to attack from TV screens or from your columns?,” Erdoğan said, calling them “uncivilized.”
Speaking in defense of Ali Demir, the head of the Public Personnel Selection Examination (ÖYSM) who recently came under criticism in light of repeated cheating scandals, Erdoğan said Demir cannot be depicted as a government yes-man but called him a valuable academic who may have made some mistakes.
“No one has the right to say such a rude thing. One newspaper headline today read ‘PM slams the media.’ Of course I will. You slam the government and expect that we will remain silent. No such a thing will happen,” he said.
Erdoğan also said the media did not show the same sensitivity when an AKP official was kidnapped by the PKK that it did at the time of the abduction of Hüseyin Aygün, of the Republican People’s Party (CHP).