Call for international solidarity: Stop the threat to democracy and peace in Turkey

If the vote in the Turkish parliament today accepts the change in the constitution to lift parliamentary immunities from prosecution Turkey will take a step away from democracy and peace.

If 367 or more members of parliament vote in favour, the constitution will be changed immediately. If 330 or more vote in favour, the constitutional change will have to be put to a referendum.

The result of lifting the immunities will be to allow some 600 indictments against MPs currently lodged with parliament to be taken to trial. The overwhelming majority of these are against MPs from the Peoples’ Democratic Party, and almost all of the accusations are of a political nature. Of the 59 MPs from the Peoples’ Democratic Party, elected with over 10% of the popular vote in last November’s general election, 50 face prosecution and likely exclusion from parliament.

If these immunities are lifted and elected MPs are jailed, then the road to peaceful political change will have been blocked off. The argument that the way forward for democratic change in Turkey is legal struggle expressed through the ballot box will have been considerably weakened.

The situation in the South East of Turkey is already very grave and hundreds of people have died since the peace process was abandoned in the summer of 2015. The lifting of parliamentary immunities can only make this bad situation worse.

We would like to ask you to show solidarity in opposing the threat to democracy and peace in Turkey.