Turkish parliament speaker receives IPU's Human Rights body
Monday, February 24, 2014
ANKARA - A delegation from the Inter-Parliamentary Union's Human Rights Commission were hosted by the speaker of the Turkish parliament at his office Monday.
The speaker, Cemil Cicek said the dispute over Turkey's imprisoned MPs arose from the constitutional articles that could not be amended due to a lack of consensus in parliament in particular with two articles out of the 60 which could not be agreed on.
Most of the MPs were freed due to the recent 'right to appeal' submitted on an individual basis to the Constitutional Court, he added.
The commission’s deputy president, Ann Clwyd, expressed concerns on the violation of legislators' rights due to "unfounded trials" and "prolonged detentions" and asked about possible amendments.
Two other MPs from the Republican People's Party (CHP) were released after the Constitutional Court decided that their rights to be elected were breached. The MPs were detained over the Ergenekon case; an organization that allegedly aimed to topple the elected government in 2007.
Five MPs from the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) were also released after being detained due to alleged links to KCK, an umbrella organization of PKK.
"The source of the problem is also constitutional," said Cicek. Turkey's ruling AK Party has sought consensus over a new constitution, which ended late 2013 after 25 months of endeavor.
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