Number of İYİ Party lawmakers decreases to 35 after dismissal, resignation of MPs

Following Ümit Özdağ's dismissal and İsmail Koncuk's resignation, opposition İYİ (Good) Party now holds 35 lawmakers in parliament. İYİ Party's disciplinary board unanimously dismissed Özdağ after he accused the party's Istanbul provincial head Buğra Kavuncu of being a Gülenist. Koncuk on the other hand resigned from the party in protest over Özdağ's dismissal.

Ümit Özdağ (L) and İsmail Koncuk hold a press conference in parliament on Nov 16.

Duvar English

The number of İYİ (Good) Party lawmakers in parliament decreased to 35, after the party expelled MP Ümit Özdağ, and MP İsmail Koncuk announced his resignation on Nov. 16.

Özdağ's expulsion came after he last month claimed that the party's Istanbul chair, Buğra Kavuncu, is a member of the Gülen network, which is widely believed to have undertaken the failed coup attempt of July 2016. During a live TV program on Oct. 19, Özdağ claimed that İYİ Party Istanbul chair Buğra Kavuncu is a Gülenist and that he conveyed his concerns to party leader Meral Akşener.

Following Özdağ's statements, some executives of İYİ Party filed an application with the party headquarters demanding that the deputy be expelled. Akşener then ruled for Özdağ's referral to the party disciplinary board which ruled for the deputy's expulsion.

İYİ Party said that Özdağ had “undertaken an action which disregards the most basic principles such as human rights, democracy and rule of law” since he “had made baseless allegations against” some party members.

Speaking to state-run Anadolu Agency, Özdağ said that he would challenge the decision in court. "I think justice will be served in the court. I do not accept this dismissal. This is a decision that is against all basic principles of justice," he said.

Another lawmaker Koncuk resigned from the party in protest over Özdağ's dismissal.

After resigning, Koncuk said during a press meeting in parliament that he no longer has any connection to the party. "İYİ Party could not be run [...] Blaming other people all the time without ever making self-criticism cannot be a political party’s understanding of governance," Koncuk said.

Following Özdağ's dismissal and Koncuk's resignation, İYİ Party now holds 35 lawmakers in parliament. The party had won 43 seats in parliament during the 2018 parliamentary elections.