Turkish prosecutors file to lift immunity of opposition party’s deputy leaders

A prosecutor’s office in Turkey’s capital of Ankara has filed requests to lift the parliamentary immunity of two main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) deputy chiefs, Diken news site said on Monday.

Prosecutors have presented a summary of proceedings against CHP group deputy chairmen Özgür Özel and Engin Özkoç to the Justice Ministry during an ongoing spat with Turkish Presidential Communications Director Fahrettin Altun over alleged illegal construction activities, Diken said.

The CHP filed a legal complaint against Altun on April 13, after the local CHP municipality reported that illegal construction had been carried out on a property he had rented in Istanbul’s Üsküdar district.

But Altun hit back with criminal complaints of his own against Özel and Özkoç, as well as against CHP Istanbul provincial chairwoman Canan Kaftancıoğlu for defending the party's Üsküdar district head in the dispute.

The lawmakers have been charged with “insulting a public official" and "slander", Diken said.

Meanwhile, the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s office has launched an investigation into news reports on the alleged construction activities, which included information on and photographs of Altun’s residence.