Turkish top court declines jurisdiction in Kurdish deputy’s application
Turkey's Constitutional Court has declined jurisdiction in response to an application by former HDP deputy Osman Baydemir, who objected to a disciplinary measure imposed on him by the National Assembly after he said he was the "son of the Kurdish people and a representative of Kurdistan." In his application, Baydemir argued that the measure violated his freedom of speech.
The court said that apart from three specific parliamentary resolutions, there were no provisions in the constitution for judicial review of other parliamentary resolutions.
"The Constitutional Court cannot conduct judicial review in an area where it does not have the power to do so," a court statement said.
In 2017, Baydemir, then an HDP deputy, said in parliament during budget deliberations:
"My demand as a representative of Kurdistan is that this roof should be the common roof of Turks and Kurds."
Following these words, Baydemir was censured by a disciplinary committee of the National Assembly.
Five members of the court voted against the decision on lack of jurisdiction.
In a written statement against the decision, Zuhtu Arslan, the president of the Constitutional Court, said that the punishment imposed on Baydemir by the disciplinary committee violated his freedom of speech.
"There is no constitutional provision stating that procedures such as imposing disciplinary punishments on deputies are reserved for the judiciary," he said.