A Turkish prosecutor has prepared a summary of proceedings against main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Mehmet Bekaroğlu, who harshly criticized Turkey’s interior minister for remarks concerning the murder of four people in Şanlıurfa’s Suruç district in June 2018, Turkish media reports said on Friday.
The summary of proceedings against Bekaroğlu was drafted by the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office on the grounds that he insulted Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu on social media.
A family lost three members in a deadly confrontation with a ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputy in Suruç on June 14, 2018.
Ten days before the presidential and parliamentary elections in Turkey, a political dispute had erupted between members of the Şenyaşar family and AKP deputy İbrahim Halil Yıldız’s family during a campaign visit by Yıldız to the Şenyaşar shop in Suruç.
The heated dispute turned into an armed confrontation, leaving M. Şah Yıldız, brother of the AKP deputy, dead.
Sustaining injuries in the altercation, Şenyaşar brothers Adil and Celal went to the city hospital where they were brutally killed, according to the autopsy reports. The father, Esvet Şenyaşar, a Democratic Regions Party (DBP) official, was also murdered at the hospital as he was trying to visit his sons.
Soylu attracted criticism back then when he said the cause of the incident in Suruç is Muharrem İnce, the presidential candidate of the CHP.
Bekaroğlu, who was angered by the minister’s remarks targeting the CHP, tweeted on June 16, 2018: “May God damn you. You shameless person, you agent, don’t be a provocateur,” in reference to Soylu.
Soylu subsequently filed a criminal complaint against Bekaroğlu, and prosecutors came to the conclusion at the end of the investigation that there was sufficient evidence showing Bekaroğlu committing the crime of an insulting a public official.
The summary of proceedings was sent to the Justice Ministry, from where it will be submitted to the Turkish Parliament Office so that Bekaroğlu’s parliamentary immunity can be lifted.
The CHP deputy this week uttered similar remarks about Soylu because he defended a police officer who allegedly harassed a university student last Saturday while trying to detain her during a protest in Ankara.
The prosecution of members of Parliament has been possible since the CHP and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) lent support to a 2016 proposal submitted by the ruling AKP on removing deputies’ immunity from prosecution.
The immunity of all deputies who face investigation was lifted in May 2016.
Hundreds of people in Turkey, even including high school students, face charges of insulting public officials, mainly President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The slightest criticism is considered insult, and there has been a rise in the number of cases in which people inform on others claiming that they insulted the president, the government or government officials.