CHP mulls legal action against head of Council of State

CHP mulls legal action against head of Council of State

Rifat Başaran - ANKARA
CHP mulls legal action against head of Council of State

Turkey’s main oppositional party is planning to take legal action against Zerrin Güngör, the head of the Council of State over her recent remarks targeting the Republican People’s Party (CHP), which has long been complaining about judicial deficiencies in the country.

“The head of the Council of State has openly expressed she is taking a political side. From now on, we regard her as having taken a political side. We will take legal action on this issue,” CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu told reporters late Sept. 9 on the occasion of the 94th anniversary of his party.

The row between the main opposition and the country’s administrative court has sparked after the latter’s head judge criticized the CHP for initiating the “justice march” from Ankara to Istanbul and then for holding a “justice congress” to draw attention to the politicization of Turkish justice. Güngör had described the march and congress as a “so-called justice march” while CHP spokesman categorized her as the “so-called judge of the Council of State.”

“Judges normally don’t talk [to the public] because it would make their verdicts known in advance. All judges in the world comply with this rule. Those who don’t would establish a lien to the government. As they receive instructions from the government, they take moves that would please the government,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.

“We regard her as the spokeswoman of the government at the Council of State. It was her who dynamited her credibility,” said Kılıçdaroğlu. The position Güngör has taken has saddened him.


Civilians or terrorists? 

Kılıçdaroğlu also reacted on legal action taken against CHP deputy leader Sezgin Tanrıkulu over his claims that civilians were killed by armed drones in the fight against terror in Turkey’s southeast region.

“They claim those who were killed are terrorists. We don’t know whether the state’s intelligence organization has information. But it’s the fact that those who were killed have passed through security controls before. Shouldn’t they be arrested beforehand if they are terrorists? This is what Sezgin Bey wants clarified,” he explained. 

On a recent appeal by the Kurdish-question focused People’s Democratic Party’s (HDP) to the Constitutional Court for the release of arrested lawmakers, Kılıçdaroğlu underlined elected deputies cannot be put behind bars except for those who have been caught red handed over heavy crimes.


No alliance with HDP

The CHP chief ruled out any potential alliance with the HDP for the upcoming polls but stressed his party will seek votes from Turkish citizens of Kurdish origin. “We have no such idea [of allying with the HDP]. But some circles are making news reports on this. We don’t take them seriously.”


Why can’t Turkey prosecute corrupt ministers?

At a separate meeting on Sept. 10, Kılıçdaroğlu touched on U.S. judicial bodies’ move to prosecute Turkey’s former Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan over corruption claims as part of an ongoing case on a Turkish-Iranian businessman for violating Washington’s sanctions on Iran.

“I cannot digest the fact that a Turkish minister is being prosecuted as part of a corruption case in the U.S. Don’t we have courts? Don’t we have justice? We have it all,” Kılıçdaroğlu said, emphasizing moral values and justice make the core of this people’s common sense.

“I will quit politics if I cannot resolve the terror problem in four years. It is that simple. They could not solve it in 15 years. We will do it in four years,” said Kılıçdaroğlu, adding that Turkey’s problems can easily be resolved.


CHP against Kurdish referendum

On a question about the upcoming referendum to be held by the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) on Sept. 25, Kılıçdaroğlu recalled his party has long been supportive of keeping Iraq’s territorial integrity.

“We don’t find holding a referendum [on independence] right. We have said many times such a move could trigger a Kurdish-Arab conflict. There is no logic to producing new problems while our region has so many conflicts,” he added