Turkish Constitutional Court rejects petition to strike down immunity bill

Turkish Constitutional Court rejects petition to strike down immunity bill

[JURIST] The Turkish Constitutional Court [official website] on Friday rejected petitions [Daily Sabah report] by opposition lawmakers seeking to lift immunity for members of Parliament. The Turkish parliament had passed two temporary amendments last month that would allow 138 deputies to be prosecuted on various criminal charges. One of the parties with 59 MPs facing charges is the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP), which has come out against [Rudaw report] the temporary suspension of immunity as a discriminatory method by the Justice and Development (AKP) to deny Kurdish access to democracy. The bill has yet to be ratified and signed into law.

These claims are the recent display of political turmoil within the country. Turkish state police last month prevented [JURIST report] members from the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) from holding a party congress in direct opposition to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, by sealing off a hosting hotel. Erdoğan announced [JURIST report] in May that he does not plan to change the country’s anti-terrorism law, a requirement of a deal struck between Turkey and EU in March. Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported [JURIST report] in April that the first round of EU sanctioned deportations from Greece to Turkey on April 4 was “rushed, chaotic, and violated the rights of those deported.” Erdoğan stated [JURIST report] in April that EU states are violating international law by breaking their migrant pact with Turkey, by not allowing the country to extradite suspected terrorists.