Turkish prosecutor requests deputy’s immunity be lifted


Prosecutors in southeast Turkey on Thursday submitted a request to remove an opposition lawmaker's parliamentary immunity over terrorism allegations, an official said.

Sibel Yigitalp is the latest Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) deputy to be targeted over alleged ties to the PKK terrorist organization.

An official in the Diyarbakir Chief Public Prosecutor's Office said Yigitalp faced charges of making terrorist propaganda and insulting the government, police and military in a speech she made at a party congress in August last year.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media.

The speech, given in the Sur district of Diyarbakir, was broadcast by the Kurdish TV channel Med Nuce.

The request to remove her immunity was submitted to the Justice Ministry. Yigitalp faces up to seven years' imprisonment if prosecuted and convicted.

The government has linked the HDP to the PKK, which is considered a terror organization by Turkey, the U.S. and EU. The party has denied ties to the group.

Having won 59 seats in the November 2015 general election, the HDP now has 55 deputies after four were stripped of their parliamentary status over ties to the PKK and absenteeism.

Nine HDP deputies, including party co-leader Selahattin Demirtas, are currently in prison awaiting trial on terrorism charges after their parliamentary immunity was lifted in March 2016.

Source: Anadolu Agency