DEMIRTAS: Ball in Parliament’s court over BDP deputies’ immunities

28.11.2012 – HURRIYET – The Prime Ministry provided the Parliamentary Speaker’s Office with a summary of proceedings on 10 Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) deputies today, just a day after the premier reiterated his desire to see the MPs stripped of their immunity for fraternizing with militants.

 After the lawmakers were seen warmly chatting and hugging members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the eastern province of Hakkari’s Şemdinli district in August, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan openly called on the judiciary to take action against the MPs, hinting that his party would act to lift their immunity when the issue came to Parliament. Summaries of proceedings were soon documented by the Van Prosecutor’s Office on charges of “aiding an armed terror organization” and sent to the Justice Ministry, where they were put in storage. Following Erdoğan’s remarks on Nov. 26, however, the proceedings were quickly dispatched to the Parliamentary Speaker’s Office.  According to procedure, the proceedings will now be sent to Parliament’s Joint Constitution and Justice Commission. If the members of the joint commission give their assent, the documents will be sent to the General Assembly, where a positive vote could pave the way for the deputies.

The deputies subject to the proceedings are BDP-backed independent deputy Aysel Tuğluk; BDP co-chair and Siirt deputy Gülten Kışanak; BDP deputy parliamentary group chair and Bingöl deputy İdris Baluken; BDP Hakkari deputies Adil Kurt and Esat Canan; BDP Istanbul deputy Sebahat Tuncel; BDP Van deputy Nazmi Gür; BDP Bitlis deputy Hüsamettin Zenderlioğlu; BDP Ağrı deputy Halil Aksoy and BDP Mersin deputy Ertuğrul Kürkçü.