Turkish Parliament rejects prosecution of former minister, MP Süleyman Soylu

Turkish Parliament rejected the request for an investigation into the then Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu regarding the broken arm of Aydın Aydoğan due to police intervention during the Saturday Mothers' protest.

Duvar English

Turkish Parliament dismissed the case involving the then Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu regarding his reposnibility for the broken arm of human rights defender Aydın Aydoğan during the police intervention at the 700th week of the Saturday Mothers'.

Soylu was elected as a lawmaker from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) after 2023 General Elections. 

On 25 August 2018, rights defender Aydoğan's arm was broken during the police's violent intervention in the protest of Saturday Mothers. He filed separate criminal complaints against law enforcement officers and Soylu, who banned the years-long protests of the group.

The prosecutors gave a non-prosecution decision against the police and the case was taken to the Constitutional Court (AYM).

The AYM ruled for violation of rights on the grounds of disproportionate force used by the police and prevention of the right to assembly and demonstration. 

In the case concerning Soylu, the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor's Office decided it has a lack of jurisdiction and sent the file to the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor's Office Parliamentary Bureau. It also issued a decision of lack of jurisdiction and referred the case to the Parliament.

Members of parliament gain legislative immunity after their election which block any prosecution against them except those crimes against the state. 

Aydoğan also submitted a petition to the Parliament in the past months for the prosecution of Soylu, yet The parliament rejected the petition. 

Aydoğan said, "Parliament could have voted for authorization to investigate if it wanted. However, it did not use this authorization. I will make an individual application to the Constitutional Court.”

After the brutal police attack on the group, Soylu on Aug. 27 stated, "We did not give permission because we wanted this abuse and deception to end. Should we have allowed motherhood to be abused by terrorist organizations and to be used as a cover for terrorism?"

Saturday Mothers has been demanding the fate of their relatives who disappeared under custody and the prosecution of the perpetrators since 1995. Saturday Mothers on Nov. 11 held their vigil at Istanbul’s Galatasaray Square without any police intervention and detention after five years. 

The move came after Turkish Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya stated in the same week that Saturday Mothers who had been detained by the police for 29 consecutive weeks “experience victimization.”