Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Chairman Devlet Bahçeli gave testimony at an Ankara courthouse on Wednesday after being charged with publicly instigating people due to a speech in a meeting in 2013.
The Ankara Public Prosecutor's Office called Bahçeli to give testimony on the same day under the instruction of the Bursa Chief Public Prosecutor's Office. Although the incident was expected to happen on Thursday, Bahçeli decided to testify on Wednesday.
Speaking after his testimony, Bahçeli said all deputies summoned to give testimony with summaries of proceedings must face justice. "After today's incident, it is seen that these summons were delivered in a kind manner, and the proceeding was carried out in the same way. It is wrong to cast these proceedings in the shade of previous proceedings."
Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım praised Bahçeli for his exemplary behavior and called opposition leaders to obey the rule of law, further warning them to avoid from provocative actions.
"I congratulate Bahçeli. He received the notification and went to the prosecutor for his testimony, behavior that should be held up as an example to others," he said.
The Bursa Chief Public Prosecutor's Office had begun an investigation into Bahçeli after he spoke at a party meeting on March 23, 2013 in Bursa. Party members at the meeting chanted slogans implying they would kill and die to show loyalty to Bahçeli. He responded by saying, "The time will come for that as well."
The files of 57 deputies, whose immunities were lifted after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan signed Law No. 6,178 after it passed Parliament with 376 votes on May 20, were sent to prosecutors for judicial proceedings last month.
The constitutional amendment pertains to 152 deputies who have had dossiers filed against them, including 57 from the Republican People's Party (CHP), 55 from the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), 29 from the Justice and Development Party (AK Party), 10 from the MHP and independent deputy Aylin Nazlıaka.
Currently, 800 dossiers have been filed, 511 of which affect members of the HDP, 211 from the CHP, 50 from the AK Party, 23 from the MHP and five dossiers that affect deputy Nazlıaka.
Speaking in a televised interview last month, Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ said the immunities of a total of 152 deputies have been lifted along with 800 files associated with the deputies after an announcement of the constitutional amendment in the Official Gazette.
Evidence will be collected and statements will be taken by prosecutors and the court, who have the authority to decide what actions will be taken. Deputies could be taken into custody, searched or placed under arrest as the investigation continues. However, the lifting of parliamentary immunities only paves the way for trials, and membership in Parliament will only be canceled in the case of convictions or restrictions in the General Board of Decisions and Parliament itself.