Turkey: Prosecution launches process over "terror" charges to lift deputy's immunity

Turkey: Prosecution launches process over "terror" charges to lift deputy's immunity
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CHP deputy Tanrikulu is accused of "making propaganda for a terrorist group" because he had said he'll seek parliamentary inquiry into allegations of chemical warfare.

The prosecution in Turkey issued a report on Monday for lifting the parliamentary immunity of a main opposition deputy, who it accused of "making propaganda for a terorist group," and sent the report to the Turkish Ministry of Justice to be referred to the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TBMM).

The report involving Sezgin Tanrikulu, deputy for the Republican People's Party (CHP) and a lawyer and prominent human rights activist, alleges that Tanrikulu "spread propaganda in support of a terrorist organization," when he said on 20 October that he will submit a proposal for a parliamentary inquiry into allegations of chemical warfare.

A deputy in Turkey may face court only after the parliamentary immunity of the deputy has been lifted by the parliament.

Tanrikulu said on 20 October, after watching a video allegedly showing a chemical warfare victim in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI):

"I've watched a video footage concerning allegations of use of chemical weapons. The use of chemical weapons constitutes a crime against humanity. I will submit a parliamentary inquiry tomorrow for an investigation to be launched to determine whether or not this footage has authenticity."

CHP officials have not yet voiced any support for Tanrikulu, and have refrained from making any comment about the legal process launched against him.

Allegations on use of chemical weapons by Turkish military

There have been many reports in the past two years on allegations that chemical weapons have been used by Turkish forces in the context of military campaigns carried out in KRI. After images of ammunition used and smoke coming out of caves, allegedly in KRI territories, a more recent video showed an alleged victim of chemical warfare.

Dr. Sebnem Korur Fincanci, the chair of the Turkish Medical Association (TTB) was arrested and incarcerated after she said in a TV broadcast, upon watching the video, "Apparently, one of the toxic chemical gases was used that directly affects the nervous system."