Turkey submits draft proposal to strip MPs of immunity

April 12, 2016 21:31

The Turkish government submitted a draft proposal to parliament on Tuesday that would strip lawmakers of immunity from prosecution, ruling AK Party officials said, a move seen as largely targeting a pro-Kurdish party.

President Tayyip Erdogan has repeatedly called for deputies of the pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party (HDP) to face prosecution, accusing them of being an extension of the outlawed militant group, the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

HDP deputies have criticised Turkey's large-scale security operations in the mainly Kurdish southeast of the country. Violence in the region has increased sharply since the collapse of a two-year ceasefire with the PKK militants last summer.

The HDP criticism has fuelled Turkish nationalist calls to prosecute politicians seen as close to the PKK, which is listed as a terrorist organisation by Turkey and its Western allies.

All 316 AK Party lawmakers signed Tuesday's draft proposal, party officials told Reuters. Lawmakers in Turkey are normally protected from prosecution.

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