Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu
on May 19 said members of the judiciary in Turkey should be free of pressure from the government, urging them to “stop being the stick of the political authority” in the country.
Kılıçdaroğlu made the comments in Ankara
during a party gathering organized to march to “Anıtkabir,” the memorial tomb of Turkey’s founder, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, to mark national Atatürk, Youth and Sports Day.
“You are responsible for dispensing justice. Your chairs are holy seats. These posts cannot be handed over the political authority. Stop being the stick of the political authority and disperse justice to Turkey properly. If you don’t do justice, you would cause the collapse of the government,” he said, addressing members of the judiciary.
His comments came after the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office stated that police had conducted an operation targeting an executive of Sözcü and a number of other staff members.
Kılıçdaroğlu also slammed the prosecutors’ operation launched early on May 19 against daily Sözcü, a Turkish newspaper fiercely critical of the government, describing the operation was “unacceptable.”
“The operation against Sözcü is conducted against Turkey. Turkey cannot handle such pressure on the media,” he said.
“Once I leave here, I will go to Istanbul to visit the Sözcü [headquarters]. We always, in every setting, express that we stand by them. I will once again express this by going to their side,” Kılıçdaroğlu added.
Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor İrfan Fidan on May 19 told the Doğan News Agency that the operation only targeted executives of the newspaper, including its license holder Burak Akbay.
“[The operation] is about the executives of daily Sözcü. He [Akbay] is already a fugitive and there is an arrest warrant for him. There are detentions and the investigation is ongoing,” Fidan said.
“Proceedings are only being conducted against its manager and some staff members,” he added.