January 23, 2012
Following the recent launch of a probe into Mr Kemal Kilicdaroglu by the Turkish judiciary, there is growing concern regarding the impartiality of the Turkish judiciary. The Turkish public prosecutor has requested that Mr Kilicdaroglu waive his right to parliamentary immunity so that charges can be brought against him for ‘attempting to influence a fair trial’ and ‘insulting public servants on duty’.
These allegations were made following remarks by Mr. Kilicdaroglu about two CHP members, who have been held in pre-detention for several years for alleged involvement in the Ergenekon case. In a show of support for Mr Kilicdaroglu, the leader of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), all of the MPs from the party have asked for the lifting of their parliamentary immunity.
PES President Sergei Stanishev has stated that “this decision against the CHP leader Mr. Kemal Kilicdaroglu is unacceptable and raises even more concerns about the independence of the judiciary in Turkey. I regret that we face once again the presence of political motives behind the decisions of fundamental state institutions which are meant to be impartial. Furthermore the ambiguous position of the Anti-Terror and Criminal Law in Turkey places severe restrictions on politicians and journalists, effectively resulting in a gagging order on all dissent”.
He added that; “The PES believes that a separation of powers between the judiciary and government is a cornerstone to any democracy and the Turkish government must take necessary steps to ensure full independence of the courts. The PES condemns politically targeted legal proceedings and continues to support the CHP and its leader in the ongoing struggle for the necessary reforms in the field of rule of law and universal freedoms in Turkey and Mr Kilicdaroglu in this time of politically motivated attacks.”