United States Concerned by Turkish Parliament's Vote on Constitutional Amendment
Deputy Department Spokesperson
The United States is concerned that the Turkish parliament’s adoption today of a constitutional amendment, which would lift the parliamentary immunity of more than 100 members of parliament, will have a chilling effect on freedom of speech across Turkey. We understand the legislation will next be referred to Turkey’s president.
A common tenet in democratic societies is equality before the law. However, we firmly believe that the freedom to engage in political speech – even speech which many find controversial or uncomfortable – should and must be protected for everyone. This is especially important when it involves speech by elected representatives of a country’s citizens.
We are closely monitoring developments regarding this prospective legal change. If this change results in a narrowing of space for political debate, it will erode the quality of Turkey’s democracy.