Friday, April 15, 2011

Candidates behind bars, Turkish MPs with one foot in jail

From Jail to Parliament and Parliament to jail. It is not so rare trip to Turkey, a country where the judiciary and the legislature dragged a long history of fighting. The general elections of June 12 will confirm again, there are 14 candidates in the ready-made public this week, "currently in custody.

And between 70 and 80 MPs, who have to leave the seat in June, is facing trial, some with jail waiting forever. For the pro-Kurdish deputies BDP is now a routine, any excuse to use the Kurdish language, and being in a demonstration with banners independence, can lead to charges of "collaborating with terrorists." Eight members of this party, they will lose the immunity to renew the Chamber, accumulate claims totaling 895 years in prison.

And six others are currently detained for the same reasons they hope to reach Parliament. Much more controversial is the decision of the CHP, the largest opposition party, to include among its candidates to three people accused of being members of Ergenekon, a diffuse network of officials with alleged coup intentions.

Two are in jail: the exrector of a university and a controversial investigative journalist. From their cells, two retired generals, a former chief of police and a journalist have been postulated as independent and another defendant, military, will be in the ranks of right-wing MHP. It is unclear whether, once elected, the accused may escape custody, but the gesture of CHP bill will pass, says Orhan Kemal Cengiz, activist expert on the 'Ergenekon case.

" "The CHP would never admit to someone accused of theft. But not considered a coup attempt as a serious crime, it reflects a mentality of being the party of 'establishment', not citizens." But the AKP, in power, also has black sheep: some 45 deputies will face trial starting in June, either by corruption, falsifying documents, for inciting hatred ...

or even by firing into the air. The CHP has 20 defendants. According to a study by Professor Turkish Gürcan Kocan, Parliament zeal in preserving the immunity of its members, except the Kurds, has greatly hampered the fight against corruption, but it is also the case of politically motivated prosecutors strike out against Members he observes.

The renewal of the Chamber, this time will be in depth: all parties have been cleaning their ranks, will work judges.

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