Opposition deputy says his car illegally searched while entering Turkish parliament premises

Murat Emir, a lawmaker from the Republican People’s Party (CHP), tweeted that his car was unlawfully searched as he was trying to enter the Turkish parliament premises on Sunday despite his parliamentary immunity.

According to Emir, Parliament Speaker Mustafa Şentop has ordered the police to search deputies’ cars before allowing them entry onto the parliament campus.

Emir said the police told him they had received orders to not “let a single deputy in without searching their car first” as he was waiting to enter.

“The fact is, deputies cannot be searched, interrogated or stopped without a court order. Especially not when they are entering their workplace, the parliament,” Emir said in a video shared on Twitter.

Emir’s experience came amid a tumultuous week in parliament as Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu, a deputy from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), was dragged out of the parliament building by police and detained. Before he was removed from the parliament building Gergerlioğlu’s parliamentary status had been revoked after a court upheld a controversial conviction over a social media post.

Gergerlioğlu was handed down a two-and-a-half-year prison sentence for spreading “terrorist propaganda” online. He resisted the decision and the removal of his status in his parliament office by refusing to leave the building.

Emir said the search of deputies was unconstitutional and that Şentop did not have the authority to give such orders to the police. The incident was criticized by opposition politicians on social media.

Aytun Çıray, a deputy from İyi Party, said the incident was nothing less than a “coup” on democracy.

Fethi Açıksel from the CHP said Şentop had acted arbitrarily and that his order was unlawful and disrespectful.

Levent Gök, another deputy from the CHP, said the incident was a scandal and that Şentop should immediately explain his actions.

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