Eyyup Doru – Statement on the immunity lift

On May 20th, 2016, under extreme pressure of President Erdoğan, the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (GNAT) lifted the parliamentary immunity of 138 lawmakers through a provisional Constitutional amendment.
The lifting of parliamentary immunities should be understood as a political coup which is also a firm step to replace Turkey’s already weak parliamentary democracy with a “Turkish-type presidential system” in which the legislative, executive and judiciary powers are monopolized by the President himself.
The provisional constitutional amendment has targeted the members of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) where democratically elected 53 members of parliament (out of 59) are stripped off their immunity. This became possible with the joint efforts of a Turkish nationalist alliance formed among the ruling AKP, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), and the so-called “social democratic” Republican People Party (CHP).
The HDP is a progressive party established by Kurdish political opposition and other under-represented ethno-religious populations, women, labor and ecologist/environmentalist groups who came together around values of pluralist democracy, peace, justice and equality. It is basically this pluralism that is targeted by this political coup. We would like to make it clear that the last remaining democratic opposition resisting against ambitious authoritarian rule of Erdogan is the HDP and yet, it is not only the responsibility of the HDP to struggle for democracy and rule of law, against Erdogan’s one man rule.
We therefore consider it more than important to form a system of sponsorship (parrainage) between the HDP MPs and the members of the EP in order to develop the solidarity in concrete terms. 53 members of the EP will be sponsoring 53 HDP deputies whose immunity is lifted. Each MEP will closely follow the dossier of one HDP member and remain in constant solidarity with him/her.
Eyyup Doru
HDP Representative in Europe