Parliament to discuss lifting HDP deputies' immunity
by Ali Ünal
ANKARAMar 04, 2016 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Ali Ünal
Mar 04, 2016 12:00 am
Removing pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) deputies' parliamentary immunity has become a hot topic in Ankara since HDP deputy Tuba Hezer's visit to the condolence house of the suicide bomber who allegedly perpetrated the Ankara car bombing on Feb. 17 that killed 29 people. Ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party), opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and even some main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) deputies have said they consider Hezer's action as a last straw, and so they see it as a foregone conclusion that a summary of proceedings related to terrorist offenses is expected to be taken up in Parliament in the coming days.
As of March 1, 469 files of summary of proceedings concerning deputies has been submitted to Parliament. According to statistics obtained from Parliament, the majority of these files, 278, pertain to the HDP. Individually, HDP Co-Chair Selahattin Demirtaş has 57 summary proceedings files and HDP Istanbul deputy Pervin Buldan 47 files prepared against to them on the accusations that they support terrorism.
Parliamentary sources expect the summary of proceedings related to accusations of terrorist offenses will be on Parliament's agenda in the coming weeks after the current budget debates end. Sources also indicate that the MHP and some CHP deputies along with many AK Party deputies are in favor of lifting HDP deputies' parliamentary immunities on the grounds that they supported terrorism.
In the history of the Republic of Turkey there are 40 deputies whose legislative immunity has been suspended and who were prosecuted. In 1994 seven pro-Kurdish Democracy Party (DEP) deputies' parliamentary immunity was removed due to their direct connection with the PKK terror organization and their "betrayal of the integrity of the state." The most recent incident was in 1998 when the parliamentary immunity of center-right True Path Party (DYP) deputies Sedat Bucak and Mehmet Ağar was removed due to their involvement in corruption and criminal activities called the Susurluk scandal.