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Turkish Lawmakers Debate Proposal To Remove Parliamentary Immunity

A parliamentary committee in Turkey has begun to debate a proposal by the governing Justice and Development Party (AKP) to strip legislators of their immunity from prosecution -- a move that could clear the way for the trial of pro-Kurdish legislators on terror charges.

The committee met on April 28 for initial discussions on the proposed constitutional amendment, which was prepared by the AKP after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused the pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party of being an arm of an outlawed Kurdish rebel group.

Erdogan is pushing for the prosecution of the party’s leaders.

The move comes amid a surge of violence in Turkey's southeast after a fragile peace process with the rebels collapsed.

On April 27, a brawl broke out inside parliament after a legislator from the AKP walked toward a pro-Kurdish party deputy and shouted "Terrorist, terrorist!"

Based on reporting by Reuters, AP, and AFP