The Turkish Parliament has received a number of summaries of proceedings on various charges leveled against opposition deputies, including the main opposition Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) Sezgin Tanrıkulu, following its reopening on Sunday, the Artı Gerçek news website reported.
The process to lift the parliamentary immunity of MPs has gained momentum with the reopening of parliament after the summer recess.
The parliament received files related to Green Left Party (YSP) deputy group chairperson Meral Danış Beştaş, YSP Van deputy Pervin Buldan, Democratic Party İstanbul deputy Cemal Enginyurt, CHP İzmir deputy Murat Bakan and Tanrıkulu, among others.
Also a human rights defender, Tanrıkulu may face imprisonment on criminal charges of fomenting hatred among the public and denigrating the state’s armed forces in the event that he loses his parliamentary immunity.
During a program on TV1000 on Sept. 8, Tanrıkulu criticized the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) due to its alleged involvement in a series of controversial actions and not taking any responsibility for their consequences.
“Not everything the TSK does is immune to criticism. We are members of parliament, we question these matters,” Tanrıkulu said, referring to the Sept. 12, 1980 coup, an attempted coup on July 15, 2016, politically motivated and unsolved murders in the 1980s and 1990s and the Roboski massacre, when 34 Kurdish civilians were bombed by Turkish military jets after they were mistaken for militants of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) near the Turkish-Iraqi border in 2011.
The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey and much of the international community.
Local media reports said that the presidential summaries of proceedings on the removal of legislative immunity have been forwarded to a joint committee comprising members of the Constitutional and Justice Committees by the speaker of parliament.
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 Justice and Development Party (AKP) on removing deputies’ immunity from prosecution. The immunity of all deputies who faced prosecution was lifted in May 2016.