Turkish parliament to consider lifting immunity of main opposition leader

The Turkish presidency filed new motions to lift the parliamentary immunity of ten opposition deputies, including main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, state-run Anadolu news agency reported on Wednesday.

The motions name seven CHP and three pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) lawmakers, the news agency said. The move follows similar procedures initiated against eleven other HDP and Democratic Regions Party (DBP) deputies last week.

To lift a lawmaker’s legal immunity, state prosecutors must submit a summary of proceedings to parliament. Parliament then votes on whether to remove the immunity, enabling the continuation of the investigation and opening of legal proceedings.

On March 17, the Turkish parliament stripped HDP lawmaker Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu of his parliamentary status, weeks after a court upheld a conviction for spreading terrorist propaganda.

There have been growing calls for the closure of the HDP in recent weeks, including from Nationalist Movement Party leader Devlet Bahçeli, a key government ally.