Saturday, May 21, 2016

Turkish MPs Stripped of Immunity

Turkish MPs Stripped of Immunity

by Stephen Lendman

In three separate Friday votes on portions of Erdogan’s controversial measure, his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) members along with pressured or bribed Republican People’s Party (CHP) lawmakers approved a constitutional amendment stripping immunity from MPs.

The measure targets pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party of Turkey (HDP) MPs and others expressing opposition to Erdogan’s agenda.

Around 138 lawmakers are vulnerable to expulsion from parliament, arrest, prosecution, conviction and imprisonment on charges of criticizing the president, terrorism and/or treason.

US and other Western criticism following the vote rang hollow. Turkey is a valued NATO member. Erdogan’s high crimes are systematically ignored - including war without mercy on Turkish, Syrian and Iraqi Kurds, harming civilians most.

He’s been solidifying police state rule, targeting press and academic freedom, wanting critics of his rogue agenda eliminated.

Anyone accused of insulting the president faces prosecution and imprisonment, including students and children.

Erdogan rules by intimidation, brute force and elimination of opponents - now constitutionally authorized against parliamentary opponents, similar to how all despots seize unchallenged power.

HDP co-chairmen Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag called Friday’s measure “a political coup attempt to completely destroy the separation of powers by subordinating the legislative to the executive and leaving the former to the mercy of a thoroughly politicized and biased judiciary.”

“This coup would be a most crucial step for Erdogan to replace Turkey’s parliamentary democracy, which he has twice declared ‘de facto over,’ with an absolutist presidential system in which the legislative, executive and judiciary powers are virtually monopolized by the president himself.”

Erdogan achieved a great leap backwards - scores to be purged from parliament, prosecuted and imprisoned for opposing his ruthless rule.

His reign of terror is free to continue virtually unopposed. 

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

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

Visit his blog site at 

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