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November 30, 2012, Friday

Disagreement over immunity

After a motion to remove the immunity of 10 Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) deputies accused of having links to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) was submitted to Parliament, differing statements came from politicians as well as columnists.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said he is determined to remove their immunity, while President Abdullah Gül said Turkey should beware of going down a “dead-end street” with the immunity removal.

It is a strange situation, Radikal’s Cengiz Çandar says. Every time Erdoğan opens his mouth, he suggests a controversial idea and the president opposes him and makes more prudent remarks. Can it be a “good cop, bad cop game”? Çandar says as far as he understands the two politicians, he does not think it is a game and that it is only a difference of opinion between the two politicians. Çandar says in the event that the immunity of the BDP deputies is removed, the rest of the BDP will most probably protest the incident by leaving Parliament. And every citizen in Turkey will agree that this country needs no such new tension or crisis, he says.

Warning about the possible consequences of the immunity removal plan, Milliyet’s Hasan Cemal says the view that “Ankara jails whoever I elect and send to Parliament” in the southeast will grow stronger and lead to a greater rift between Kurds and Turks. This plan should be well calculated for the sake of Turkey’s political stability, he underlines.

However, there are also a significant number of columnists supporting the plan. Bugün’s Gülay Göktürk says those opposing the plan are concerned that it might block the political path to solving the Kurdish issue and in turn they suggest that the BDP should be given another chance. But she says we have been tolerant of the BDP so far and asks what change has that actually brought. We all knew that the BDP had been “infected with the terror virus,” and we patiently tried to help it recover. We thought that the freer it becomes of this virus, the better it can represent Kurds in Parliament. But the BDP only took advantage of our tolerance and continued to represent terrorists rather than Kurds. The BDP has treated the PKK as a legitimate group and has literally embraced it -- as was seen in a video released several months ago –- which has resulted in the party losing its legitimacy, she says.

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