The new legislative year commenced officially following the ceremony and speech of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at TBMM (Grand National Assembly of Turkey). Enis Berberoğlu, who was released upon being elected an MP after remaining in prison for 16 months, also swore in as MP.

Coming to the General Assembly of the Parliament with the CHP (Republican People’s Party) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, Enis Berberoğlu was heartily welcomed by the MPs. Berberoğlu swore in after Erdoğan’s speech in accordance with the clause in the house regulations that decrees “MPs not present at the oath-taking ceremony are required to swear in following the first parliamentary session they attend.”

CHP MP for Istanbul Berberoğlu, who was in prison for 16 months for the sentence he received in the MİT (Turkish National Intelligence Service) trucks case, was released when the Supreme Court upheld his penalty and suspended the execution of the sentence until the end of his deputyship.

Berberoğlu gained parliamentary immunity by swearing in; yet, he faces losing his deputyship if his case file is submitted to the Parliamentary Speaker’s Office and the Parliament Speaker Binali Yıldırım refers it to be read at the General Assembly. However, it is believed that Yıldırım may withhold the case file in question until the end of the parliamentary term. HDP MP Leyla Güven’s case is akin to that of Berberoğlu. It is not yet known whether Güven will be released and be able to swear in as MP.

Translation: Fahri Öz