Friday, 20 May 2016

Parliament in Turkey backs lifting immunity from prosecution


  • 5 minutes ago
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  • From the sectionEurope
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, center, and his ruling party legislators vote at the parliament in Ankara, TurkeyImage copyrightAP
Image captionOutgoing PM Ahmet Davutoglu (centre) and his ruling party legislators vote on the bill
The Turkish parliament has approved a controversial bill that will strip MPs of their immunity from prosecution.
Pro-Kurdish lawmakers say the bill is essentially a move to expel opposition members from parliament.
The measure is seen as targeting the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) as well as the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP).
Turkey has led an offensive against the PKK, accused of being a terrorist group.
A ceasefire ended weeks after elections in June 2015. The renewed conflict has claimed hundreds of lives on both sides, particularly in the south-east.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called for pro-Kurdish MPs to face terrorism charges and Friday's vote could be a first step towards making that happen.
The bill was backed by 376 MPs in the 550-seat legislature, which means it will become law directly without being put to a referendum, parliamentary speaker Ismail Kahraman said.

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