Turkish main opposition in new bid for jailed deputies
CHP’s Hamzaçebi says they will meet with the AKP on the jailed deputies issue. Cihan photoThe main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) is planning to meet with the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) in a bid to secure the release of imprisoned deputies.
The CHP hopes to jointly draft a provisional Constitution article to pave the way for the release of deputies currently in jail.
“A provisional arrangement in the Constitution will be an arrangement which includes all deputies who were under arrest when they were elected for the 24th term and those [deputies] whose position of being arrested turned into conviction in the meantime,” CHP deputy parliamentary group chair Akif Hamzaçebi said Nov. 11.
Hamzaçebi’s remarks came when he was reminded of a recent contact between the CHP and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and was asked whether such contact could be held with the AKP too.
“We will meet with the Justice and Development Party on this issue. We have provided a contact with the MHP. We will hold meetings with both the Justice and Development Party and the Peace and Democracy Party concerning arrested deputies,” Hamzaçebi said, noting that no exact date had yet been set for these meetings.
Yet, AKP’s deputy parliamentary group chair Mustafa Elitaş, downplayed the option of resolving the arrested deputies issue through a provisional article.
Last week, CHP’s Mehmet Haberal, who was released from prison in August in the Ergenekon coup plot case for time served, held a meeting with MHP’s Oktay Vural. After Haberal’s release, the CHP has one deputy imprisoned, Mustafa Balbay, who was sentenced to 34 years and eight months in the Ergenekon coup trial.
MHP’s Engin Alan was handed an 18-year sentence for his role in the Balyoz coup plan. Five BDP deputies are being tried on charges related to the outlawed Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK), the alleged urban wing of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).