Summaries of proceedings seek to lift immunities of CHP head, AKP official
ANKARAThe Turkish Prime Ministry has sent parliament summaries of proceedings to lift the immunities of 18 lawmakers, including main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu and ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputy leader Şaban Dişli, Turkish media outlets reported on May 2.
The summary of proceedings against Kılıçdaroğlu was prepared on charges of “insulting the president” in his public speeches and through messages he shared on social media.
In January, the office in charge of investigating press crimes at the Ankara Chief Prosecutor’s Office initiated an investigation against Kılıçdaroğlu on charges of “openly insulting the president.”
The offense carries a jail sentence of between one and four years.
Of the 18 names against whom summaries of proceedings have been prepared, seven are from the CHP and 10 are from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).
The only name from the AKP is Dişli, whose brother Mehmet Dişli, a former general, is standing trial over involvement in the July 2016 coup attempt, which is widely believed to have been masterminded by the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ).
Şaban Dişli had declared his “loyalty to democracy and the ruling party” regardless of the charges that his brother faces.
The opposition parties have been criticizing the government for not extending the move against Gülenists to the political realm.
In May 2016, the Turkish parliament approved a law stripping its members of immunity from prosecution, which allowed prosecutors to pursue members of parliament who face investigation.
Following the approval of the law, a total of 13 HDP politicians were arrested in November 2016 on terrorism-related charges. Currently, 10 out of these MPs, including the party’s co-leaders Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ, remain in custody pending trial.
After her conviction on terrorism charges, Yüksekdağ lost her seat in the parliament in February 2017. The decision came after the Supreme Court of Appeals approved a lower court decision finding her guilty of making “terror propaganda” on Nov. 27, 2013.