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Erdogan ally suggests lifting main opposition leader’s parliamentary immunity

The far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli has slammed the leader of Turkey’s main opposition party over his “links” with a pro-Kurdish party and proposed removing his legal immunity, the Gazete Duvar news portal reported on Friday.

Bahceli, who is President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s main ally, announced in a written statement on Friday that his party formed a committee to investigate the links between the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).

The group, consisting of MHP deputy chairs Feti Yildiz, Izzet Ulvi Yonter, and Ismail Faruk Aksu, will also “analyze and investigate” CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu’s acts and remarks “that constitute an offense”, according to the statement.

Labeling the main opposition party as being “out of control,” the MHP leader on Friday said: “The politics that CHP currently follows are in total conflict with the sovereignty of the Turkish nation and their historical rights. CHP and the HDP being on the same lane is especially a big problem for us.”

“The way is open for the CHP chair’s immunity to be removed,” Bahceli said, suggesting that Kilicdaroglu should appear before a court for “hoping for the help of the PKK.”

The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) is a militant group that has launched an insurgency for the Kurdish self-rule in Turkey’s mainly Kurdish southeast since 1984 and is listed as a terrorist organization by the Turkish government.

The far-right leader, as well as Erdogan and his ruling AK Party (AKP) officials, often accuse the pro-Kurdish opposition HDP of being an “extension” of the outlawed PKK.

Commenting on the issue, CHP’s deputy leader Ozgur Ozel defined Bahceli’s remarks as “political impoliteness.”

“Those who want to touch Kemal Kilicdaroglu will be hit by the slap of democracy like the last elections,” Ozel told reporters on Friday.

He was referring to Turkey’s March 31 local government elections, where the ruling AKP experienced its biggest setback since coming to power in 2002 by losing the mayoral race in Turkey’s five largest cities, including the country’s capital Ankara and business hub Istanbul, to the main opposition.

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