AKP, CHP in dispute over state of emergency extension
The leaders of Turkey’s ruling and main opposition party disagreed over the government’s plan to extend the state of emergency for another term at a face-to-face meeting on Sept. 22, when the latter raised his concerns over the growing number of complaints of “reckless measures” resulting from decree laws in the aftermath of the failed coup attempt of July 15.
Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım and Republican People’s Party (CHP) head Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu held an around two-hour-long meeting at the ruling party’s headquarters upon the request of the main opposition leader.
Kılıçdaroğlu wanted to meet the prime minister in order to inform him about complaints his party had received from more than 37,000 people who claimed to have been negatively affected by the mass purges from the civil service due to alleged links to the Gülenist network, which was blamed for the coup attempt.
The number of people who have suffered from the government’s “reckless measures” against suspected Gülenists within the civil service has hit 1 million, the main opposition leader said previously.
“The prime minister signaled that the government can extend the state of emergency. But our chairman objected to the idea,” sources from the main opposition party told reporters after the meeting.
The government declared the state of emergency for three months on July 21 in a bid to efficiently fight against the Gülenist network and its undercover members within the state. The government is now planning to extend it for another term on the grounds that the Gülenist clearing process has not been fully completed yet. The votes of the ruling party are sufficient to extend the state of emergency.
PM admits mistakes in the process
In an interview with daily Hürriyet just a day before he was scheduled to meet Kılıçdaroğlu, Yıldırım admitted that there could be mistakes in this process, as the Gülenist network was not a transparent organization.
“There can be wrong decisions. But we are keeping the way open to correct these wrong decisions. This is important,” Yıldırım said.
“We have seen that the process [of identifying Gülenists] is not that easy. Despite this, we have tried to carry it out as meticulous as can be,” he said. “Appeals will come and will be assessed by the commissions to be established in every city. But these will not be done overnight.”
The government’s efforts to clear the state of Gülenists have yielded significant results but there are still things that need to be done, Yıldırım said. “We do not want anybody to lose his job. Everybody has a future, a family. We will not act mercifully but justly.”
The two leaders also reportedly discussed ongoing efforts to realize a small-scale constitutional amendment, the works for which were launched in the aftermath of the coup attempt. The purpose of the amendment is to restructure judicial bodies to avoid future coup attempts.
Yıldırım also reportedly informed Kılıçdaroğlu about ongoing cross-border operations in Syria.
Leaders will meet again
Speaking to reporters in Istanbul, Yıldırım said that the leaders of three political parties in parliament will meet at a summit in the coming days to finalize weeks-long work on the small-scale constitutional changes.
He also informed that representatives from the Justice and Development Party (AKP), CHP and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) will come together on Sept. 23 to overview the drafted amendments.