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Independent MP faces removal of immunity due to support for Boğaziçi protests

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The Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office has drafted a summary of proceedings against independent Turkish lawmaker Ahmet Şık due to his support for ongoing protests against the appointment of a loyalist as the rector of Boğaziçi University in İstanbul.

The proceedings have been forwarded to the Justice Ministry by the prosecutor’s office.

An investigation was launched into Şık in February by the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office on charges of engaging in overt provocation to commit a crime due to his statements about the youth-driven protests.

The statement said the investigation into Şık was launched following reports in the Turkish media suggesting that he called on the public to take to the streets, saying that the government would not leave office following an election.

In a statement at the İstanbul courthouse following the release of some of the protesting students from police custody in February, Şık criticized the unlawful arrest of the students, saying nobody should be deceived by the illusion that the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government would leave office through elections because it does not recognize the law and acts like the mafia.

““Nobody can fight the mafia by means of the judiciary. We cannot deal with their understanding of the law,” Şık said, calling on everyone to take action to end the “palace regime,” a reference to the rule of President and AKP leader Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

In the meantime, the Turkish Parliament on Wednesday received summaries of proceedings to remove the parliamentary immunity of 10 opposition lawmakers including the leader of Turkey’s main opposition party, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu.

In addition to Republican People’s Party (CHP) Chairman Kılıçdaroğlu, CHP lawmakers Oğuz Kaan Salıcı, Muharrem Erkek, Yunus Emre, Veli Ağbaba, Fethi Açıkel and Faik Öztrak as well as pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) lawmakers Ayşe Acar Başaran and Kemal Bülbül face removal of their immunity from prosecution.

If parliament votes to strip the deputies of their immunity, they will be tried by Turkish courts.

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.

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