CHP President Kilicdaroglu: “Lift my immunity!”

Turkey’s AKP dominated courts added another injustice to their current record by sending a deposition to the Grand assembly to have CHP leader Kilicdaroglu’s immunity lifted.  His crime?  Embezzlement? Political patronage? Influence peddling?  Bid fixing?  No, these are crimes for which a good portion of sitting AKP deputies is wanted in various Turkish courts.  Mr. Kilicdaroglu’s crime is calling the Silivri Correctional Facility, where 8 MP are detained a “concentration camp”.

“Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu has reiterated his challenge to prosecutors, calling for an end to his immunity as a request for his trial was sent to Parliament by the Justice Ministry.

“The main objective of this move is to appease me and restrict my freedom of speech. But they will not be able to succeed. I did and I will say what I say. I’m calling on the Parliament speaker, Parliament’s General Assembly and the related commission members to lift my immunity. My file contains no corruption. Lift my immunity and let me account for my thoughts,” Kilicdaroglu said in a written statement.”

The public prosecutor in Istanbul’s Silivri district Jan. 9 requested the revocation of the main opposition leader’s parliamentary immunity so he can face charges of “attempting to influence a fair trial” and “insulting public servants on duty.” The prosecutor sent an official notice to the Justice Ministry to initiate the process of filing a case against Kilicdaroglu. The next day Kilicdaroglu and all of the CHP deputies in Parliament applied for the abolition of their judicial immunity in protest of the probe attempt.

The file against Kilicdaroglu was based on comments he made after a Nov. 9, 2011, visit to two jailed CHP deputies at Silivri Prison, where suspects in the Ergenekon coup case are being held. Kilicdaroglu likened the prison to a “concentration camp” and said he could not bear to call members of the court “judges.”

“They call this democracy and justice. Can you call him a judge, a judge who does not act with his conscience?” Kilicdaroglu said. He also described the judicial system inTurkey as “under the control of the political authority.

The prosecutor’s office acted on Kilicdaroglu’s remarks and prepared a two-fold indictment against him, charging him with “attempting to influence a fair trial” and “insulting members of the court.”

Before the CHP chief could stand trial, the Parliament speaker must send a petition to revoke his judicial immunity to the General Assembly, and the majority of lawmakers must vote in favor of the revocation. Aside from Kilicdaroglu’s, a total of 622 official petitions demanding the revocation of 79 other legislators’ immunity from prosecution are pending at the Parliament Speaker’s Office ([1]).

Erdogan continues to intimidate the opposition by frivolous lawsuits

InTurkey, criticism of the Erdogan government or many of the religious orders that back it earns one prison, as journalists Mr. Nedim Sener and Ahmet Sik, as well as several dozens of others have learned to their expenses.  A lesser but equally effective means of stifling the opposition is the frequent lawsuits launched by PM Erdogan. He is one his way to become one of the richest parliamentarians in history thanks to the penalties collected from hapless cartoonists, journalists and now perhaps even Mr. Kilicdaroglu.

“A court case has been filed against Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu following a complaint filed by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has accused the CHP leader of defamation of character.

Erdogan is seeking TL 100,000 in compensation from the CHP leader. The prime minister’s anger stems from a speech Kilicdaroglu made at his party’s parliamentary group meeting on Feb. 21. The complaint was filed on the grounds that the speech was insulting to Erdogan’s person and his Justice and Development Party (AK Party).

Kilicdaroglu is being accused of having attacked Erdogan’s dignity in the speech, where he accused him of being a “thief.” The petition to file charges against Kilicdaroglu also lists “gang master, emotionally disturbed, separatist, immoral and stupid” as used to refer to the prime minister, which, the complainant claims, is misinforming to the public and were said in a demagogic manner.

Kilicdaroglu’s remarks clearly aim to degrade, belittle and insult the prime minister, according to the petition. “This language is on a level going beyond the border of criticism,” the petition read”([2]).

The really entertaining part of this story is that Mr. Erdogan himself introduced insults and invectives to the Turkish political discourse.  His call to a poor farmer complaining of hunger “Take your Momma and get out of this country” or to drinkers of alcoholic beverages “Drink till you choke” are national idioms nowadays.

About CHP EU Representation

The CHP was founded on 9 September 1923, about one and half month before the proclamation of the Republic of Turkey. The first President of modern Turkey’s oldest party was M. Kemal Atatürk. Today CHP is a social-democratic party, member of the Socialist International and associate member of the Socialist Group at the European Parliament. The scope of the CHP bureau in Brussels is not limited to the bilateral framework of Turkey's EU accession process. Issues such as the information society, energy policies, social development, climate change, international trade and security are among the different focus areas. The EU-Turkey relations are about integration and need multiple, plural and horizontal channels of communication. The CHP supports and promotes Turkey's EU membership process also by being more present and active in Brussels The CHP's Representative to the EU is Ms Kader Sevinç who previously worked as an MEP advisor at the European Parliament and in the private sector.
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