Friday, May 20, 2016

Turkey's Parliament Set to Strip Members of Immunity

Turkey’s Parliament Set to Strip Members of Immunity

by Stephen Lendman

Erdogan repudiates democracy, freedom and rule of law principles, his ruthlessness ignored by Washington and other Western allies.

He wants opposition parliament members stripped of their immunity, leaving them vulnerable to prosecution and imprisonment for criticizing his policies.

He has two goals in mind, usurping dictatorial power and eliminating pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party of Turkey (HDP) MPs.

Earlier he said “I no longer see as legitimate political actors the members of a party which is operating as a branch of a terrorist organization.” Freedom fighting Kurds want fundamental rights denied them.

On May 2, a brawl erupted between Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) members and opposition HDP MPs after a parliamentary committee approved legislation to strip deputies of immunity from prosecution.

On Friday, Turkish MPs are expected to pass Erdogan’s controversial measure - sponsored by his ruling party. It’s unclear if the required 367 votes will be gotten to approve constitutional change or if the measure will be put to a national referendum.

Enactment would put opposition parliamentarians at risk of prosecution on charges ranging from criticizing the president to terrorism and/or treason, especially pro-Kurdish MPs. 

Erdogan wants them and dozens of opposition Republican People’s Party MPs prosecuted, removed from parliament and imprisoned, solidifying his iron-fisted grip on power.

By secret ballot, a Friday vote on the first clause of his controversial measure passed with a 373 majority, enough to support constitutional change without national referendum approval.

Two additional votes on other portions of the bill are scheduled before day’s end. If they get 367 or more votes, Erdogan will solidify dictatorial rule.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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