Kılıçdaroğlu will have his parliamentary immunity lifted

Main opposition CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu will have his immunity lifted with the start of the new parliamentary term, as he is no longer a lawmaker. If prosecutors approve one of the 40 criminal complaints filed against Kılıçdaroğlu, the CHP leader will appear before the court.

Duvar English 

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu will have his immunity lifted since he was not nominated as a parliamentarian this term and was not elected as president on May 28 election. His current immunity will formally end once the newly elected lawmakers take oath at parliament, which is expected to happen on June 2.

Kılıçdaroğlu is now facing 40 criminal complaints, 16 of which have been based on the charges of “insulting, threatening and slandering the President,” according to reporting by Deutsche Welle’s Turkish service. If these criminal complaints are approved as lawsuit by the prosecutor’s office, Kılıçdaroğlu will appear before the court.

Other charges against Kılıçdaroğlu are as follows: “attempting to affect the judiciary, explicitly insulting, slandering, threatening, insulting public officials, violating the investigation’s secrecy, praising the crime and criminal."

Among the charges that will be levied against Kılıçdaroğlu is one that concerns a 2020-dated brochure that detailed the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) connection to the Gülen network. In the brochure named “FETÖ’s Political Leg in 21 Questions,” a photo showing Erdoğan and Fethullah Gülen together was used.

Sources close to Kılıçdaroğlu said that if a lawsuit is formally launched with regards to this brochure, the CHP leader wants to come to the court in person and tell about the AKP-Gülen network relationship. 

The Nation Alliance’s other leaders will also not be able to serve as a lawmaker as they were vice president candidates. Therefore, İYİ Party leader Meral Akşener, DEVA leader Ali Babacan, Future Party leader Ahmet Davutoğlu, Democrat Party leader Gültekin Uysal and Felicity Party leader Temel Karamollaoğlu will also lose their immunity, meaning prosecutors will be able to launch any investigation against these leaders.

On the other hand, an appeals court is still reviewing the jail sentence and political ban given to Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu last year over charges of “insulting” members of the High Election Board (YSK). If the penalty is upheld by the appeals court, then İmamoğlu will not be able to stand as a candidte in next year’s local elections.

İmamoğlu was accused of insulting 11 members of YSK while talking about the board's decision to annul and rerun the March 31, 2019 Istanbul mayoral election.