Justice Ministry receives proposals seeking to lift immunity of CHP MPs over row with Erdoğan’s aide

Duvar English

The Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office has prepared summary of proceedings to lift parliamentary immunity of two main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) lawmakers for “insulting” Fahrettin Altun, one of the top aides of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

The prosecutor’s office sent the relevant summary of proceedings to the Justice Ministry, which will then forward them to the parliament, where the immunity of the CHP lawmakers under investigation will be voted on one by one.

Since the passing of a constitutional amendment in 2016, Turkish politicians can now lose their parliamentary immunity while belonging to a legal party. The process of revoking their immunity begins with the launch of a formal investigation and the summary proceedings are then sent to parliament. It is only if the parliament votes to abolish the relevant lawmaker’s immunity that the investigation can continue.

The new summary of proceedings concern the investigation launched by the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office against CHP lawmakers Özgür Özel and Engin Özkoç.

The CHP lawmakers are accused of “insulting” and “slandering” Altun through their social media posts and remarks criticizing the illegal construction carried out on a land rented by the aide in Istanbul’s Üsküdar district.

If the CHP lawmakers’ parliamentary immunity is lifted, then the legal proceedings will go through and the opposition lawmakers will face charges of “insulting a public officer.”

Altun’s lawyer Sezgin Tunç said that his client will also file a claim for compensation over the CHP lawmakers’ remarks.

The property which Altun rented from Turkey’s Foundations Directorate has been at the center of attention after daily Cumhuriyet reported in April that the CHP-run Istanbul municipality demolished a pergola and fireplace that were illegally constructed on this land.

Cumhuriyet’s report was slammed by government officials and was followed by legal action. Altun and other ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) officials claimed that the aide’s address was openly stated and his private life was violated even though the report didn’t feature any details on Altun’s address.

On May 31, the newspaper was forced to publish three disclaimers over its report. It published three “reply and correction” disclaimers on its front page.

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About CHP EU Representation

The CHP was founded on 9 September 1923, about one and half month before the proclamation of the Republic of Turkey. The first President of modern Turkey’s oldest party was M. Kemal Atatürk. Today CHP is a social-democratic party, member of the Socialist International and associate member of the Socialist Group at the European Parliament. The scope of the CHP bureau in Brussels is not limited to the bilateral framework of Turkey's EU accession process. Issues such as the information society, energy policies, social development, climate change, international trade and security are among the different focus areas. The EU-Turkey relations are about integration and need multiple, plural and horizontal channels of communication. The CHP supports and promotes Turkey's EU membership process also by being more present and active in Brussels The CHP's Representative to the EU is Ms Kader Sevinç who previously worked as an MEP advisor at the European Parliament and in the private sector.
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