The new Turkey
Proposal to lift immunity of HDP deputies submitted to Parliament
16 May 2019:
Presidency dossiers on the immunity of 21 deputies, including HDP co-chairpersons Pervin Buldan and Sezai Temelli and the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Istanbul deputy Saliha Sera Kadıgil were presented to the Turkish Parliamentary Speaker's Office.
Buldan along with HDP Ağrı deputy Berdan Öztürk and HDP Diyarbakır deputy Remziye Tosun have three dossiers while two dossiers were submitted for HDP's Istanbul deputy Ahmet Şık, Şırnak deputy Nuran İmir, Van deputy Murat Sarısaç and Diyarbakır deputies Musa Farisoğulları, Salihe Aydeniz and Dersim Dağ.
In order to lift the impunity of a deputy, a prosecutor conducting an investigation into a deputy needs to submit a summary of proceedings of the said deputy to the Parliament. Later, the Parliament will vote for whether to abolish the impunity, enabling the continuation of the investigation and opening legal proceedings.
In Turkey's history, there have been 40 deputies whose legislative immunity was suspended and prosecuted. In 1994, the parliamentary immunity of seven pro-Kurdish Democracy Party (DEP) deputies was removed, due to their direct links with the PKK terror organization and "betrayal of the integrity of the state."
In 1998, the parliamentary immunity of deputies from the center-right True Path Party (DYP) Sedat Bucak and Mehmet Ağar was removed, due to their involvement in corruption and criminal activities following the Susurluk scandal. The Turkish government has long accused the HDP of close links with the PKK. The HDP is known for its support of autonomy in regions where large Kurdish populations live. Also, some of its members have been charged or accused of having links to the PKK terrorist organization. Its former co-leader, Selahattin Demirtaş, was arrested in November 2016 over terrorist propaganda. Many of its members have often voiced overt support to the PKK.
Founded in 1978 and fighting a bloody war against Turkey ever since, the PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S., and the EU. Although there was a brief reconciliation period, the terrorist organization resumed its armed campaign in July 2015. It has since been responsible for the death of some 40,000 people, including women and children.