Turkish parliament to examine lifting immunity of 25 opposition lawmakers

The Turkish parliament is set to examine lifting the immunity of 25 opposition lawmakers, Sözcü newspaper reported on Wednesday, after prosecutors submitted a summary of proceedings for the MPs to the highest lawmaking authority.

A total of 33 legal proceedings have been sent to parliament on Tuesday, in a bid to remove the immunity of at least nine lawmakers with the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), including the party’s co-chair Pervin Buldan, Sözcü said.

The summaries of proceedings are set to be examined by the Constitution and Justice Commission of parliament, it said.

The move against the HDP lawmakers is over their alleged roles in inciting violence in the 2014 nationwide protests against the Turkish army’s inaction during an Islamic State (ISIS) attack on the northern Syrian Kurdish town of Kobani.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan when asked about the lifting of immunity of the lawmakers said the due process would be followed.

“The process will take place as it always does. These matters come to parliament and the parliamentary commissions hold their discussions. And a vote takes place in the General Assembly,’’ Sözcü cited Erdoğan as saying. 

The Turkish government has jailed dozens of HDP mayors and officials, replacing the majority of HDP municipalities in Kurdish-majority eastern and southeastern Turkey won in the 2019 elections with government appointed trustees.

Ankara accuses the HDP of links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), a claim the HDP denies.

The PKK, designated as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the United States and European Union, has been fighting an armed insurgency against the Turkish state for four decades. Tens of thousands of people, mostly ethnic Kurds based in Turkey, have died in the conflict.