The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) expressed their disturbance with the judicial decision to continue the detention of Istanbul Deputy Enis Berberoğlu in a meeting with newly elected Parliament Speaker Binali Yıldırım on July 25.
“There are two arrested [people]: One current lawmaker Enis Berberoğlu and one former lawmaker Eren Erdem. We have expressed our views on their situation,” CHP leader KemalKılıçdaroğlu told reporters after the meeting in parliament.
“We have told him this is injust pretending to be justice. This is an unnecessary detention and Enis Berberoğlu should be released and begin his job in parliament. Justice does not listen to parliament and violates the constitution,” said Kılıçdaroğlu.
“We hope the dust will settle soon and trust in the judiciary will be re-established,” he said.
The Court of Cassation has rejected Berberoğlu’s appeal for his release after his re-election as a member of the parliament, which therefore allows him to benefit from parliamentary immunity. Berberoğlu, in reaction, announced his decision not to make any defense before the court and not to communicate with his relatives and lawyers. He was arrested over terror charges in June 2017 and was sentenced to five years in prison although he has not been convicted.
Kılıçdaroğlu is expected to convey a briefing note to Yıldırım concerning the situation of imprisoned lawmakers who have been granted immunity with their election to parliament but remain in prison after the latter had responded positively to the proposal.
During the meeting, he quoted deputy speaker Mustafa Şentop’s comments in 2016 during the parliamentary constitutional commission where he said “a lawmaker who is re-elected re-gains immunity,” and asked Yıldırım if he would consider making an assessment on the issue with a briefing note from the main opposition party.
Reportedly, Yıldırım affirmed the proposition, stating he would seek Şentop and law professionals in making an assessment. With this affirmation, the CHP is expected to convey a note to the speaker’s office for a further evaluation on the issue of imprisoned lawmakers.
He proposed a change in the personnel regime, where experts of specific fields should be recruited to make the parliament more efficient.
He also underlined the CHP’s criticism to the omnibus bills introduced to parliament, stating the bills should not be omnibus unless there is an emergent issue to tackle.
Yıldırım reportedly responded positively to the propositions.