Turkey's main opposition applies to top court for annulment of penal reform law

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) on Wednesday applied to Constitutional Court for the annulment of the newly enacted amnesty law, T24 reported.

"CHP constitution commission member Ali Mahir Başarır applied to the Constitutional Court for cancellation of the penal reform bill adopted at the Turkish parliament on Apr. 14," the party's group deputy chairman, Engin Altay, said.

Prisoner releases have begun in Turkey after a law by Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) was passed that will see as many as 90,000 of the country’s 300,000 inmates set free to reduce the coronavirus pandemic’s threat to the country’s overcrowded prisons.

The opposition has criticised the bill for failing to include those imprisoned over terrorism offences, which includes a large number of people, including politicians, serving lengthy terms for opposing the Turkish government.

The CHP maintains that the penal reform is a “covert special amnesty,” which is why it requires the approval of at least three-fifths of lawmakers in the parliament.

The law is also against the principle of equality for its exclusion of political prisoners, the party's deputy chairman said.