Over 20 Turkish opposition MPs facing lifting of parliamentary immunity

A summary of proceedings calling for the lifting of parliamentary immunity of 23 opposition lawmakers, inducing the co chair of the pro pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), has been submitted to Turkish parliament, Birgün newspaper reported on Saturday.

A total of 17 Turkish lawmakers with a summary of proceedings against them are members of the HDP, followed by two members of the main opposition secularist Republican People’s Party (CHP), two members of the centre-right Good Party (İYİP), two independent MPs and one member of the Democratic Regions Party(DBP), according to Birgün.

Some of the highest profile members of parliament facing the stripping of their parliamentary immunity include HDP co chair Mithat Sancar and CHP Secretary General Selin Sayek Böke.

It was not immediately clear what the accusations against the lawmakers were, but the Turkish government accuses the HDP of harbouring sympathies and acting in the interests of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), an armed group that has been at war in Turkey for almost four decades.

In order to lift the immunity of a deputy in Turkey, a prosecutor conducting an investigation into a deputy needs to submit a summary of proceedings of the said deputy to parliament. Parliament will then vote on whether to abolish the immunity, enabling the continuation of the investigation and opening of legal proceedings.