Investigation shame for democracy: CHP leader

Investigation shame for democracy: CHP leader

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Investigation shame for democracy: CHP leader

Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu (R) gives his signature to a party member at a CHP gathering that was organized in Ankara to welcome more than 1,000 new party members, including people who had recently quit the AKP. AA Photo

Main opposition leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu harshly denounced yesterday the prime minister for backing a prosecution attempt to put him on trial as a war of words raged on between the two.

“The prime minister [Recep Tayyip Erdoğan] says the probe cannot produce a hero. True. The probe could only produce shame for democracy and gloom for freedom of speech and expression,” Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kılıçdaroğlu said at a party gathering in Ankara.

Erdoğan had derided Kılıçdaroğlu for exaggerating the judicial move against him in a bid to earn himself a hero’s status, arguing that even he himself was the subject of investigations.

‘The victim has become today’s oppressor’

“Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is today a person who is applauding oppression. The victim of yesterday has become the oppressor of today. He spent four months in jail. I would have expected him to develop wisdom; instead he has nourished feelings of vengeance,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.

He spoke at a CHP gathering that was organized to welcome more than 1,000 new party members, including people who had recently quit Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP).

Kılıçdaroğlu said the judicial probes against Erdoğan pertained to allegations of fraud and forgery. “How can you consider this as equivalent to freedom of thought?” he said, referring to the charges pressed against him for criticizing the judiciary.

Kılıçdaroğlu urged Erdoğan to reveal the content of his secret meeting with former Army Chief Yaşar Büyükanıt in May 2007, held shortly after the military had issued the so-called “e-memorandum” to the government to block Abdullah Gül’s way to the president’s post.

Asked about reports that his opponents within the party had collected enough signatures to call a congress to amend the party statute, Kılıçdaroğlu said he would not shy away from a congress if the signatures were formally submitted to the party.

The CHP leader said the party members collecting the signatures were “using their right given to them by the party statute.”

“I do not consider them as dissidents within our party. The party members are free to exercise any legal right they have,” said Kılıçdaroğlu.

Turkey, politics, Ankara, opposition, CHP, AKP, Tayyip Erdoğan, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, trial, court, jury