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Parliamentary Investigation

1. Parliamentary Investigation

A parliamentary investigation defines a legal process initiated against vice presidents or ministers who have allegedly committed a crime related to their duties Vice presidents or ministers may be sent to the Constitutional Court for trial upon the decision of the Assembly after a parliamentary investigation.

2. The Conditions for a Motion of Parliamentary Investigation

Absolute majority of the total number of deputies in the Assembly can submit a motion of parliamentary investigation.

A motion of parliamentary investigation must indicate offences that have been committed by the vice president(s) or a minister(s) regarding his or her duties and legal provisions that have been breached, identifying the related articles and reasons.

3. The Process of a Parliamentary Investigation

Motions of parliamentary investigation are included in the Order Paper and read out in the Plenary. The Plenary votes by secret ballot whether to launch a parliamentary investigation at the end of the debate, which is held within one month from the submission of the motion to the Office of the Speaker.

The first signatory of the motion or another signatory designated by him or her, three deputies and the vice president or minister against whom the motion of parliamentary investigation is presented have the right to speak during this debate.  The duration of speeches is subject to general provisions.

During this voting, three-fifth of the total number of deputies is required for the decision.

4. Committees of Parliamentary Investigation

If it is decided to launch a parliamentary investigation, a 15-member committee of parliamentary investigation whose members are chosen by lot among the candidates nominated by political party groups is established.

Deputy who is under conditions that necessitate a judge to be disqualified from trying a case or participating in a judgment according to the Law on Criminal Procedure shall not be selected as member of the committee. 

The committee of parliamentary investigation must produce its report within two months of its establishment.  If the committee cannot complete its report by the latest within two months, an additional and final period of one month is provided to the committee.

The committee meets with the absolute majority of the total number of members and decides by the votes of the absolute majority of the deputies present at the meeting.

Committees of investigation work confidentially. Unlike the standing committees, deputies who are not members of the committee may not attend the meetings of the committee.

The committee may demand information and documents concerning the matter from public and private institutions. If it finds it necessary, it may seize the information.  The committee can benefit from all the instruments of the executive power. The committee may listen to the vice presidents, ministers, people concerned, witnesses and experts.

The committee may demand judicial organs to provide assistance via a regent or rogatory. Besides, the committee may request to use liberty limiting authorities given to the judicial organs regarding witnesses, experts, seizure and search by the Law on Criminal Procedure within the general provisions.  This request must be written and include justifications.

The committee shall receive the plea of the vice president or the minister against whom a motion of parliamentary investigation is presented.  The committee can also demand the related documents.

The Committee, if necessary, may set up sub-committees to pursue its investigations outside Ankara.

5. The Debate on the Report of the Committee of Parliamentary Investigation and Its Legal Consequences

The report of the committee of investigation is published within ten days of its submission to the Office of the Speaker and is immediately sent to the vice president or minister against whom an investigation is requested and distributed to the deputies. The report is debated within ten days after its distribution.

The report prepared by the committee of parliamentary investigation can be for or against sending the respective person to the Supreme Court.

The committee reports and the decisions of the Plenary to be sent to the Supreme Court must specify the criminal provisions on which the decision or the report is based.

The rejection of a report, which opposes sending the vice president or minister to the Supreme Court, is only possible with the adoption of a motion reflecting sending the person concerned to the Supreme Court and specifying the criminal provision on which the decision is based.

During the debate on the report of the committee of the parliamentary investigation, the committee, six deputies in their own capacities, the vice president or minister against whom an investigation is requested, have the right to speak.  The vice president or minister against whom an investigation is requested, speaks without any time limit. During the debate on the report political party groups do not have the right to speak.

At the end of the debate, the Plenary decides on the report by secret votes of the two-third of the total number of deputies in the Assembly.

If it is decided to send the vice president or minister concerned to the Supreme Court for trial, the file is referred to the chairmanship of the Constitutional Court within seven days.

The decision of the Assembly to send the vice president or minister concerned for trial before the Supreme Court is final.

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