Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.jpg
Photograph: EPA/TURKISH PRESIDENT PRESS OFFICE/HANDOUT

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan gave his approval Tuesday to legislation that will strip the legal immunity of more than 130 parliament members, in a move widely seen as targeting pro-Kurdish lawmakers.

Erdogan's approval, reported by broadcaster NTV and other outlets, is needed for the bill, which has the power of constitutional amendment, to become law and paving the way to prosecutions.

A two-thirds majority in parliament approved the measure last month.

The United States and the European Union have expressed concerns over the immunity bill.

The measure was widely seen as targeting the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), as more than 50 of their 59 members in the 550-seat house would be affected. However, the bill could have implications for all four parties in the legislative house.

Turkey's Constitutional Court last week rejected an appeal against the legislation by lawmakers from the HDP and some from the centre-left Republican People's Party (CHP), which is split over the matter.

The far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) has largely backed the immunity bill, which was initiated by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). The AKP's key founder, Erdogan, has repeatedly called for HDP members to lose their legal protection.

Erdogan has alleged tight connections between the HDP and the banned Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), something the legal party denies.

Latest news

Merkel calls for fewer EU regulations as nationalist sentiments grow

As voters in the Netherlands, France and Germany show increasing support for nationalist, euro-sceptic political movements ahead of this year's elections, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has called for limits on EU regulations.

French prosecutors transfer Fillon case to investigative judge

The French judiciary has opened a formal investigation in connection with presidential candidate Francois Fillon to examine whether the employment of his wife as a parliamentary employee was a sham, the country's financial prosecutors' office said Friday.

White House bars major news outlets from press briefing

Major news organizations, which were Friday blocked by the White House from attending an informal press briefing, condemned the move just hours after President Donald Trump described parts of the media as "the enemy of the people."

Report: German intelligence spied on BBC, other foreign journalists

Germany's intelligence agency monitored foreign journalists at the BBC, the New York Times and other news organizations from 1999 onwards across several countries, according to a Friday report from Der Spiegel magazine.

Classroom for Islamic religious education opened in Split

A classroom for Islamic religious education, whose equipment was financially assisted by city and county authorities, was opened in the coastal city of Split on Friday.

Ministry say no licences for export of military goods to Saudi Arabia issued in 2016

The Economy, Enterprise and Crafts Ministry on Friday issued a statement regarding media reports about export licences for military goods, stressing that in 2016 it did not issue any licences for the export of military goods to Saudi Arabia.

Croatia for preserving Bosnia's stability

Croatia on Friday supported the stability of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), calling on its authorities to adopt decisions in institutions, after a request by BiH Presidency Bosniak member Bakir Izetbegovic to review a ruling which acquitted Serbia of genocide.

Mexico is not a migrant "waiting room" for US, interior minister says

Mexico will not accept undocumented immigrants from other countries whom the United States plans to deport, Mexico's interior minister said Friday.

Right-wing populist Wilders declines first Dutch election debate

Candidates from nine Dutch parties answered questions from journalists Friday at the first national radio debate of the election campaign, but the leading candidate

Bosnian Croat reps insist on channel airing programmes in Croatian

Being one of the constituent peoples, the Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina are entitled to a broadcaster that will air programmes in their native language, HNS BiH official Ivan Vukoja said at a news conference in Mostar on Friday.

Same-sex couples in Slovenia can marry

A Slovenian law allowing same-sex couples to marry went into force on Friday and the first civil registrar ceremony, between two women, is to take place in Maribor on Saturday, the town's Vecer daily said.

Moody's changes Agrokor's outlook to negative

The Moody's rating agency on Friday changed its outlook for the Agrokor food retailer from stable to negative, affirming its rating of B3.