Turkish parliamentary groups intensify efforts for release of jailed deputies
Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) deputy parliamentary group chair Pervin Buldan (pictured) held a meeting with Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ. AA photoOn the first working day of 2014, the Turkish capital city was the scene of meetings aiming to find a breakthrough in the controversy surrounding jailed members of the Parliament.
Two deputy parliamentary group chairs of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), İdris Balüken and Pervin Buldan, held a meeting with Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ at the latter’s office on Jan. 2 and they were also held a separate meeting with Parliament Speaker Cemil Çiçek.
Five deputies supported by the BDP are currently in jail, as is Engin Alan, a deputy for the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP). Recently, the conviction of Sebahat Tuncel from the BDP’s sister party, the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), was confirmed by a higher court, endangering her parliamentary seat.
Contacts have yielded a result and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the BDP formed a commission at Parliament on Jan. 2 in a bid to resolve the controversy. The commission will hold its first meeting on Jan. 6, Monday.
The ruling is “political,” Tuncel told the state-run Anadolu Agency on Jan. 2, referring to the Supreme Court of Appeals’ approval of an eight-year sentence against her for membership in the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) on Dec. 28, 2013.
“Hereafter, it is up to the Parliament. While we were waiting for the release of our lawmakers from prison, the attempt to send a lawmaker to prison instead of releasing them is a tendency for deepening the political crisis,” Tuncel told Anadolu.
Elsewhere at the Parliament, speaking at a press conference on the same day, MHP Deputy Parliamentary Group Chair Oktay Vural said the conviction ruling about Alan should not be sent to the Parliament and even if it was eventually sent, the Parliament should not take any action related to that ruling.
According to the procedure, after the related courts send the rulings concerning Alan and Tuncel to the Parliament, the two will lose their seats when these rulings are read out at the General Assembly.