Turkish parliament revokes the membership of three opposition deputies

Turkish parliament has stripped three opposition deputies of their parliamentary membership in Thursday’s general assembly session.

Parliamentary Deputy Speaker Süreyya Sadi Bilgiç from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) read out presidential notices against the deputies, completing the procedure to revoke their memberships.

The deputies, Enis Berberoğlu from main opposition centre-left Republican People’s Party (CHP), and Leyla Güven and Musa Farisoğulları from the pro-Kurdish left-wing opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), had finalised court orders against them over charges of espionage and terrorism.

CHP’s Deputy Speaker Engin Altay said the reading out of the notices was against parliamentary procedure and called the revocation a “coup against the will of the people,” while HDP’s Deputy Speaker Meral Danış Beştaş said judges who presided over the cases against the HDP lawmakers had later been arrested on terrorism charges themselves, casting a shadow over their neutrality.

Opposition lawmakers in the session protested the move, calling for solidarity and chanting against what they called fascism and a coup.

“The reading out of the court orders should have been extended to the end of the term,” HDP deputy Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu said in a tweet.

ANALYSIS:  Democracy hallowed out, economic confidence likely to suffer

Since the Covid-19 outbreak, several polls revealed dropping approval ratings for Erdogan government on account of poor economic management, as PA Turkey’s poll of polls taken since February show AKP-MHP partnership commanding less than 49% of national votes.

Erdogan could have increased his approval rating, and his party’s standing in the polls with better economic management, inclusive social policies and eliminating the influence of AKP over the judiciary.  Many polls suggest that even AKP’s urban voters are tired of polarizing politics. Yet, the President and his loyal partner Mr. Bahceli seem to have chosen yet another short-cut to success—through the patch of democracy—that of eliminating opposition deputies and mayors by administrative acts and by the brute force of a majority in the Grand Assembly.

As Turkey hallows out its democracy, Erdogan’s new objective of replacing Asian suppliers with Turkey in the EU market, also withers on the wine. Neither brussels, nor EU-domiciled firms will do business with a country where Presidential Whim   has replaced the rule of law, due process and property rights.

At home too, evidence suggests consumer confidence is yet to recover from the shock of the devastating Covid-19 outbreak. Compnaies are suffering from low turn-over, excessive leverage and arbitrary taxation rules. It is almost certain that the new Act by the Grand Assembly will further undermine economic confidence, hampering Erdogan’s efforts to revitalize the economy.

By Atilla Yesilada, Ahval News

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Published By: Atilla Yeşilada

GlobalSource Partners’ Turkey Country Analyst Atilla Yesilada is the country’s leading political analyst and commentator. He is known throughout the finance and political science world for his thorough and outspoken coverage of Turkey’s political and financial developments. In addition to his extensive writing schedule, he is often called upon to provide his political expertise on major radio and television channels. Based in Istanbul, Atilla is co-founder of the information platform Istanbul Analytics and is one of GlobalSource’s local partners in Turkey. In addition to his consulting work and speaking engagements throughout the US, Europe and the Middle East, he writes regular columns for Turkey’s leading financial websites VATAN and www.paraanaliz.com and has contributed to the financial daily Referans and the liberal daily Radikal.