ISTANBUL – The inauguration of the new Turkish parliament, on Tuesday, is feared to turn out chaotic. Nine elected MP’s won’t be present because they are in jail, there is heavy discussion about a seat that might go from the Kurdish block to governing party AKP, and the biggest opposition party threatens to boycot the ceremony. The pro-Kurdish MP’s who are not in jail, will not attend the ceremony.
Biggest problem are the six MP’s of pro-Kurdish party BDP. Five of them are in detention on remand because of, in short, connections with the Kurdish seperatist movement PKK. Judges decided they won’t be released from prison. The sixth Kurd, Hatip Dicle, is convicted for making propaganda for the PKK. Usually MP’s get immunity, but for Dicle it’s different because he was convicted for ‘crimes related to terrorism’. The BDP is taking the matter to court. There is a chance that an AKP-candidate, who became second in that specific region, will take Dicle’s seat in parliament, which would sure make the tension increase.
Also opposition parties CHP and MHP have MP’s who are in detention on remand who won’t be released. They are suspects in the Ergenekon case, an alleged consipracy to topple the AKP government. The CHP threatens to boycot the inauguration, the MHP will not boycot.
The consequences of the chaotic inauguration are for now onclear. A change in the law and a pre-election of Hatip Dicle is an option, but for that the AKP-government will have to take action within three months. Interesting detail: in 2002 Prime Minister Erdoğan couldn’t take his oath in parliament because of an earlier conviction, and at the time such a procedure was followed to make it possible for him to take his seat.