Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has slammed the stripping of the parliamentary status of three opposition lawmakers, calling it a blatant breach of the Turkish constitution and accusing the government of disregarding the people’s will.
“These people were allowed to enter the elections as no legal obstacle was found before them. What happened now and you’ve made this decision? This is against the constitution,” Kılıçdaroğlu told his parliamentary group on June 9.
“According to the constitution, the fulfillment of a provision about a lawmaker is delayed until the end of the legislative year. In this case, the concerned lawmaker is re-elected to parliament, his immunity can only be lifted through a vote,” he added.
Kılıçdaroğlu’s statement was a reaction to the removal of the parliamentary status of Enis Berberoğlu of the CHP and Leyla Güven and Musa Farisoğulları from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).
Parliament Speaker Mustafa Şentop had defended the move as the stripping of the parliamentary status of these lawmakers was “obligatory” as the Supreme Court of Appeals had upheld court decisions about them.
“The removal of their parliamentary status is a blow against the people’s will. Why have people gone to vote to elect their representatives? We will continue to defend democracy,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.
Recalling the reports about the work launched by the Justice and Development Party (AKP) to overhaul the entire election system so that small parties with less than five percent of votes will not be able to enter parliament although they are part of a political alliance, Kılıçdaroğlu said “The best thing they know is to conspire plots against their dissidents. Whatever you do, you will lose the government.”
Kılıçdaroğlu also criticized the government for the latest arrest of journalists İsmail Dübek from Tele 1 TV and Müyesser Yıldız from Oda TV’ news website on charges of military espionage.
“A country can find comfort only if there are free journalists. These free journalists are working under difficult conditions just to inform us,” Kılıçdaroğlu said, slamming the arrest of the two journalists.
“What did these journalists do? They are chasing the truth. But they are being charged. What espionage? Why are journalists Barış Terkoğlu, Barış Pehlivan, Hülya Kılıç, Murat Ağırel and Aydın Keser behind bars?” he asked.
Kılıçdaroğlu said all the journalists will be free, and democracy as well as freedom will prevail in Turkey when the Nation Alliance, made up of the CHP and nationalist opposition İYİ (Good) Party will come to power in the next elections.