Turkey’s main opposition seeks parliamentary inquiry against PM

Turkey’s main opposition seeks parliamentary inquiry against PM

Turkey’s main opposition seeks parliamentary inquiry against PM

CHP Deputy Parliamentary Group Chair Akif Hamzaçebi speaks at a press conference at Parliament, May 28. AA Photo

The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has filed a motion for a parliamentary inquiry into Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in relation to a wave of corruption probes that first went public on Dec. 17, 2013.

The motion, presented to the office of the Parliament speaker on May 28, recalled that Parliament had already decided to form an inquiry commission for the graft allegations on four former ministers after the eruption of the huge corruption scandal, as part of which police detained the sons of three former ministers and businessmen close to Erdoğan. The CHP motion also referred to the investigation that broke on Dec. 25 in the second wave of anti-corruption operations, which were subsequently impeded by the executive body.

“No notices of crimes concerning Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan – about whom the claims are as serious as those of the ministers – have arrived at Parliament,” the CHP said.

Taking into consideration the executive body’s pressure on the judicial body and its manipulation of judicial processes, the transition of a criminal complaint by prosecutors to Parliament regarding Erdoğan is not likely, the motion argued.

The CHP also recalled that the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) had at the time drafted a report stating that relations between Iranian-born Azeri businessman Reza Zarrab and two ministers could be used against the government.

Zarrab is the gold dealer at the center of the Dec. 17 graft probe. He has been accused of bribing the former ministers to cover up a deal that allegedly saw Iran sell oil and gas to Turkey in return for cash that was then converted to gold by a Turkish bank, subsequently exported to Tehran, often via Dubai.

The motion included transcripts of recordings, alleged to have been conversations between Prime Minister Erdoğan and his son Bilal. Ahead of the March 30 local elections, audio tapes of telephone conversations appeared on websites almost daily, purporting to expose corruption surrounding Erdoğan. The authenticity of the recordings has yet to be verified.

Meanwhile, speaking at a press conference May 28, CHP Deputy Parliamentary Group Chair Akif Hamzaçebi said the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) had been exerting deliberate efforts to delay the parliamentary commission that will investigate the former ministers, which has still yet to be established.

Although the opposition parties have already nominated candidates for membership of the commission, the AKP still has yet to introduce its nominee list to the office of the Parliament speaker, Hamzaçebi said.

“As far as it is understood, the establishment of this commission is being hampered until Parliament goes into recess,” he added.