Turkey, Politics

Turkey: Opposition MP Berberoglu regains deputyship

Enis Berberoglu reinstated as member of parliament following court ruling for his retrial

Emin Avundukluoglu   | 11.02.2021
Turkey: Opposition MP Berberoglu regains deputyship

ANKARA

The main opposition lawmaker in Turkey regained his deputyship Thursday after a court order for his retrial.

Enis Berberoglu of the Republican People's Party (CHP) was reinstated as a member of parliament following a memorandum by speaker Mustafa Sentop on a decision by the Istanbul 14th High Criminal Court.

The memorandum was read at the parliament's general assembly after the court on Monday ordered the retrial and suspension of a previous sentence on the deputy from Istanbul province.

Turkey's Constitutional Court ruled on Sept. 17 that Berberoglu's right to be elected and engage in political activities and right to personal liberty and security had been violated during an earlier trial in which he had been convicted of leaking state secrets.

The Constitutional Court sent a copy of the ruling to Istanbul Court for a retrial to eliminate the consequences of the violation.

The lower court ruled on Oct. 13 that Berberoglu, who in 2017 was sentenced to nearly six years in prison, did not need a new trial.

'Interference in jurisdiction'

In the Oct. 13 ruling, the Istanbul court said it was the Constitutional Court's duty to identify the violation in the case and guide the court on how to remove or halt it.

It argued that the apex court's order for a retrial was in "interference in the decision made within the jurisdiction of our court."

Berberoglu was found guilty of leaking footage to a journalist showing trucks belonging to Turkey's National Intelligence Organization (MIT) being stopped en route to Syria in January 2014.

Gendarmerie officers affiliated with the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) stopped the MIT trucks, despite government orders to let them pass.

FETO and its US-based leader, Fetullah Gulen, orchestrated a July 15, 2016, defeated coup in Turkey that left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured. The group is also accused of extensive infiltration of state institutions.

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