Turkey’s Parliament Set to Strip Members of Immunity

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Turkey’s Parliament Set to Strip Members of Immunity
by Stephen Lendman
Erdogan repudiates democracy, freedom and rule of law principles, his ruthlessness ignored by Washington and other Western allies.
He wants opposition parliament members stripped of their immunity, leaving them vulnerable to prosecution and imprisonment for criticizing his policies.
He has two goals in mind, usurping dictatorial power and eliminating pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party of Turkey (HDP) MPs.
Earlier he said “I no longer see as legitimate political actors the members of a party which is operating as a branch of a terrorist organization.” Freedom fighting Kurds want fundamental rights denied them.
On May 2, a brawl erupted between Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) members and opposition HDP MPs after a parliamentary committee approved legislation to strip deputies of immunity from prosecution.
On Friday, Turkish MPs are expected to pass Erdogan’s controversial measure – sponsored by his ruling party. It’s unclear if the required 367 votes will be gotten to approve constitutional change or if the measure will be put to a national referendum.
Enactment would put opposition parliamentarians at risk of prosecution on charges ranging from criticizing the president to terrorism and/or treason, especially pro-Kurdish MPs. 
Erdogan wants them and dozens of opposition Republican People’s Party MPs prosecuted, removed from parliament and imprisoned, solidifying his iron-fisted grip on power.
By secret ballot, a Friday vote on the first clause of his controversial measure passed with a 373 majority, enough to support constitutional change without national referendum approval.
Two additional votes on other portions of the bill are scheduled before day’s end. If they get 367 or more votes, Erdogan will solidify dictatorial rule.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com

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Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.