1. Parliamentary Investigation
A parliamentary investigation defines a legal process initiated against the Prime Minister or ministers who have committed a criminal offence while performing their duties during their office. The Prime Minister 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
At least one-tenth 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 Prime Minister 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
The motion of a parliamentary investigation is 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 deputy who is the first signatory of the motion or another deputy designated by him or her, three deputies and the Prime Minister or minister against whom a 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, a qualified majority is not required; an ordinary majority is sufficient 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.
Ineligibility to be selected as members of the committee is as follows: Deputies who are 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; those who are the signatories of the motion of investigation; and those who have already explained their opinion on the matter. The committee of parliamentary investigation, which is established by a decision of the Plenary, elects its chairperson, vice-chairperson, spokesperson and secretary among the members during the first meeting.
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 two months 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 Council of Ministers. The committee may listen to the 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 Prime Minister and 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 Prime Minister or minister against whom an investigation is requested and distributed to the deputies. The report is debated within ten days after the 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 Prime Minister 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 Prime Minister or minister against whom an investigation is requested, have the right to speak. The Prime Minister or minister against whom an investigation is requested, speaks last without any time limit. During the debate on the report, although the deputies who have the right to speak are indicated by the Rules of Procedure, the political party groups and the government do not have the right to speak.
At the end of the debate, the Plenary decides on the report by secret votes of the absolute majority of the total number of deputies in the Assembly.
If it is decided to send the Prime Minister 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 Prime Minister or minister concerned for trial before the Supreme Court is final.
If the Prime Minister in office is sent for trial before the Supreme Court, the term of office of the government is automatically terminated. However, only the term of office of the minister concerned is terminated if he or she is sent for trial before the Supreme Court.