The Peoples’ Democratic Party’s (HDP) MP for Kocaeli and ex-chair of the Human Rights Commission of the Turkish Assembly, Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu, on Friday was given back his MP status after the General Assembly of the Turkish parliament announced the decision in the parliament chamber.
However, Bülten Turan, the AKP parliamentary group’s deputy chairperson defended the previous court order that has been used as grounds to dismiss Gergerlioğlu from the parliament. “That day, the decision of the court was read out and acted accordingly and the same thing happens today. This is not a decision that was voted on in the parliament,” he said.
With this decision, Gergerlioğlu will be able to continue his human rights and constituency work in the Turkish parliament as an MP.
The Constitutional Court of Turkey on 1st July concluded that Gergerlioğlu’s “right to be elected and to engage in political activities” and “right to personal liberty and security” had been violated.
Gergerlioğlu was then stripped of his MP status on 17th March. However since the very first day, Gergerlioğlu has been fervently defending himself highlighting that the decision to strip him of his parliamentary status had no legitimacy in law whatsoever.
“I have taken this status from our people; not from these tyrannts; not from the judiciary, which tramples on the constitution. I do not recognise this decision. I will use all my power that I have been granted by the people,” he said on a video message he shared on 17 March.
After the decision to strip him of his lawmaker status, Gergerlioğlu immediately launched a “justice vigil” inside the Turkish parliament, but as he continued his vigil, police detained him on 21st March as he was doing his carrying out his ablution rituals for his daily prayer.
An investigation was then launched against him on the grounds that “he was still acting as an MP and not leaving the parliament” and he was released.
After the Supreme Court of Appeals served him with a two-year-and-six-month prison sentence on 22nd March, Gergerlioğlu was again detained on 2nd April from his home in Ankara with the anti-terror teams raiding his home. He was consequently sent to prison.
After having been imprisoned for more than three months, he was released on 7th July after the Constitutional Court ruled that his rights had been violated. When he was released Gergerlioğlu indicated that he was going to get straight back to his human rights and political work when he tweeted, “Where were we? :)”.