Turkey OKs controversial bill to lift pro-Kurdish MPs’ immunity

Turkey OKs controversial bill to lift pro-Kurdish MPs’ immunity

PanARMENIAN.Net - Turkey's parliament on Friday, May 20 adopted a highly controversial bill that would lift immunity for dozens of pro-Kurdish and other MPs and could see them evicted from parliament, sparking fresh domestic and international concern, AFP says.

The bill was backed by 376 MPs in the 550-seat legislature, meaning it will become law directly without being put to a referendum, parliament speaker Ismail Kahraman said.

Only 140 voted against the measure.

Under current law, Turkish lawmakers have the right to full immunity from prosecution.

The bill -- which still needs President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's approval before becoming law -- would lift the immunity of 138 deputies from all parties who face potential prosecution.

The pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) says the bill is aimed at expelling its members from parliament, AFP says.

HDP lawmakers are vulnerable to prosecution on allegations of links or even verbal support for the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has waged a three-decade insurgency in the southeast.

In a speech that came as parliament was voting on the measure, Erdogan lauded the bill as "historic."

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