Turkish President Gül renews objections to lifting immunities
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Gül also sends a clear message to the BDP that embracing PKK militants was unacceptable. ‘There is no democracy on the face of the earth that tolerates embracing, extolling or legitimizing terrorism,’ he says. AA photoDespite the strong sentiments expressed by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in favor of the annulment of immunities for 10 Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) deputies, President Abdullah Gül reiterated on Nov. 28 his desire to see a Parliament without any flaws.
Responding to questions on whether he believed that lifting the immunities of BDP deputies would escalate the political tension in the country, Gül referred reporters to his earlier remarks on the issue, in which he implied that he was against lifting the parliamentary immunity of BDP deputies who were seen embracing and warmly chatting with PKK militants near Şemdinli in the southeastern province of Hakkari in August.
“As a matter of fact, you know the speech I made on this issue at the opening of Parliament. I shared my views there. As far as I know, these [proceedings about deputies] are coming to Parliament. They will be discussed entirely at Parliament, of course,” Gül said, speaking at a joint press conference with Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev. “However, I stated my opinions in Parliament in an extremely clear way.”
Gül was referring to his Oct. 1 address to Parliament at the start of the new legislative year.
“All kinds of flaws within Parliament’s composition will not be useful for anything, but will only be a repetition of what was done in the past and mean further a postponement of the solutions that we need so much,” Gül said in the address.
Hours after Gül’s statement, while speaking at joint press conference with Senegal’s Prime Minister Abdoul Mbaye, Prime Minister Erdoğan refuted any differences of views between him and Gül on the issue.
“The target of Mr. Gül’s statement is obvious and the target of my statement is obvious,” Erdoğan said when he was reminded of his remarks on Monday when he said that the government is planning to make “an unusual decision,” when lifting of BDP deputies’ immunities comes to the Parliament’s floor.
“Let’s not divert the issues. These are different issues. Those at the Parliament are committing crime under the armor of immunity,” Erdoğan said, adding that some BDP deputies have been encouraging people to terrorism.
Gül also sent a clear message to the BDP that embracing PKK militants was unacceptable. “There is no democracy on the face of the earth that tolerates embracing, extolling or legitimizing terrorism.”
BDP co-chair Gülten Kışanak, one of the 10 deputies subject to possible prosecution, reiterated on Nov. 28 that she did not find it useful to make detailed comments on this issue.
“Turkey has no interest in discussing this issue. It is also not a way or method that will be useful for resolving our problems,” Kışanak said. “If such [lifting of immunities] happens, then this would be a political operation and we know how to give a political response to it.”