Today in Turkey the parliament just gave Erdogan the power he needs to force members of parliament to vote for whatever he wants, including his new Sultan/Caliphate system.
The parliament overwhelmingly voted to remove prosecutorial immunity of members of the parliament so that they can now be charged with terrorism, which is primarily aimed at the HDP pro-Kurdish members:
Turkish Parliament’s General Assembly voted for on a bill, which calls for a constitutional amendment to remove the lawmakers’ immunity from prosecution, for the second round on Friday and approved the bill with 376 votes.
The bill received 376 votes in total, thereby passing into law without holding a referendum.
The constitutional amendment suggests lifting deputies’ immunity from prosecution, who currently face investigations and mainly targets politicians from the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP). If enacted the bill would affect a total of 138 lawmakers, 50 of them from HDP.
By passing this with more than a 2/3rds majority (367 votes), it allows the parliament to change the constitution without seeking a vote from the people in a referendum.
And with 138 lawmakers currently affected by this new amendment, it gives Erdogan more than enough leverage to force members of parliament in other parties to do his bidding and vote for his new Sultan/Caliphate-style presidential system.
The EU responded to this calling it a “matter of serious concern”:
European Union Commissioner Johannes Hahn and High Representative for EU Federica Mogherini released a joint statement on Turkish parliament’s decision to lift more than 100 deputies on Friday, saying that the decision is “a matter of serious concern.”
The statement read, “In line with relevant international recommendations, immunity must apply to all on a non-discriminatory basis and decisions on lifting immunity must be based on the merits of each specific case, according to transparent criteria and not subject to any political considerations.”
The joint statement also said, “A restrictive interpretation of the legal framework and the Constitution in particular continue to pose a risk to the freedom of expression of Members of Parliament in Turkey.”
It’s more than just a matter of serious concern. The parliament has basically ceded the power of the parliament to Erdogan. All he has to do is threaten the 108 members with lifetime in prison for terrorism related charges and many will likely bend to his will. He already has a majority in the parliament, so he really only needs half of those in that number to comply. And if they don’t comply, he can just prosecute them and put that seat up for reelection, which most likely would become a new AKP seat anyway.
Erdogan has told the Turkish people that he wouldn’t force his new caliphate system through the parliament, that he would only do it via a referendum, so that the people get to vote. But as power-hungry as Erdogan is, it wouldn’t surprise me if he forces it through anyway now that he has the leverage.
And he wants it done quickly, as he said earlier this month:
The experiences Turkey has gone through in its history show the necessity of drafting a civilian constitution that includes a presidential system, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Friday in Istanbul. Claiming that in order to push the country into a stronger position, presidential reform must be put to a referendum as soon as possible to get rid of the current parliamentary system, which he said “creates crises.”
It’s not IF Erdogan can get this done, now it’s only a matter of time. He’s already a de facto Sultan anyway.