Commission to vote on four former Turkish ministers

  19 December 2014    Read: 504
Commission to vote on four former Turkish ministers
A parliamentary inquiry commission will vote Dec. 22 on whether to send the four former ministers involved in Turkey`s Dec. 17 and 25 corruption probe to the Supreme Council, Hurriyet Daily News reported.
Hakkı Koylu, the head of the commission from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), said after a meeting Dec. 18 that the voting on Zafer Chaglayan, Muammer Guler, Egemen Bagıs and Erdogan Bayraktar would be “open,” meaning the votes of each member would be made public.

The commission itself will write a report on the issue, he said, without giving an exact deadline.

The judicial process on the claims has already expired and charges against the ministers have been dropped, with the commission remaining as the sole active process.

Last year on Dec. 17, Istanbul prosecutors launched the corruption investigation, which also embroiled a number of prominent officials and Reza Zarrab, an Iranian-origin businessman who allegedly paid bribes to ministers for several years.

Turkey’s media organizations were banned from reporting on the parliamentary commission in a Nov. 25 ruling, but the judge later said the ban only applied to publishing all speeches in the commission “quote by quote,” which is also banned by parliamentary regulations. The judge said they had not banned “commenting” on the commission and its works.

A demand by the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) to drop Koylu from the commission was refused by Parliamentary Speaker Cemil Cicek earlier this month.

All four parties in Parliament are represented on the commission according to the proportionate number of seats they hold in the legislature. The AKP therefore holds a majority on the 15-member commission with nine seats, while the CHP holds four seats and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) each hold one seat.

Opposition parties have raised concerns over the transparency of the commission so far. Pervin Buldan of the HDP had said the party had withdrawn from the commission after the media ban.

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