Turkish Parliament’s corruption panel asks for two-month extension

Turkish Parliament’s corruption panel asks for two-month extension

Turkish Parliament’s corruption panel asks for two-month extension

DHA Photo

A parliamentary inquiry commission into corruption claims against four former Cabinet members has requested an extension of its term for another two months.

According to formal procedure, investigation commissions can only function for four months. The first two months constitute the commission’s original tenure, while the final two months function as an extension.

The commission, after holding a meeting on Oct. 16, asked for the extension starting Oct. 26.

Parliament had decided to establish an investigation commission to probe former ministers Zafer Çağlayan, Egemen Bağış, Muammer Güler and Erdoğan Bayraktar on May 5, after deliberations between political parties. However, the commission was not able to hold its first meeting until early July.

Following the meeting on Oct. 16, it has emerged that the lawyers of two of the former ministers have been able to review the summary of proceedings against their clients. However, members of Parliament have so far not been able to review the proceedings.

“The lawyers of Bağış and Güler are said to have taken copies of the files, but we have not been able to do the same as lawmakers. We learned about this from the correspondence and we voiced our reaction on the issue. Such a thing is not permissible,” main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Emre Köprülü, a member of the commission, told reporters after the meeting.

Following the two-hour-long closed-door meeting, the commission’s president, ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputy Hakkı Köylü, told reporters that they had formed a sub-commission in order to work on the files at the Istanbul Court House.

Rıza Türmen of the CHP and also a member of the commission, meanwhile, said he wanted the commission to summon Reza Zarrab and Süleyman Aslan to Ankara.

The four ministers resigned from the Cabinet after a huge graft operation highlighted their relations with Iranian-origin businessman Zarrab, who has allegedly paid them a number of bribes over the last few years. Along with Zarrab, former Halkbank chief executive Aslan is among the suspects of the corruption probe.