Main opposition CHP head says party ‘wants a terror-free and democratic Turkey’
ANKARAThe main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) wants a “terror-free and democratic Turkey,” its leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said during a visit to the Kurdish issue-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), as part of his bid to consolidate opponents of the constitutional amendment passed in the April referendum.
“We want a Turkey in which prisoners, lawmakers and intellectuals are not in prison just because they expressed their thoughts, in which there is no terrorism and no limit to freedom of expression,” Kılıçdaroğlu said on June 9.
“We do not want any teachers to go on hunger strike to get their job back and then get taken to prison. We do not deserve such a Turkey,” he added.
In a visit alongside CHP Deputy Chair Bülent Tezcan, CHP Deputy Chair Haluk Koç, HDP Ankara deputy Sırrı Süreyya Önder and HDP official Fatma Kurtulan, Kılıçdaroğlu conveyed his party’s wish to consolidate a “democratic front” in Turkey.
“We have been fighting for democracy for many years. Many people have lost their lives. We have gone back to basics. We have to get together under the roof of democracy by demonstrating a will to live freely. I hope in the future we will sing democracy songs and make our country rise,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.
‘Visit holds great importance’
In a short statement given after the meeting, the HDP’s recently elected co-leader Serpil Kemalbay said the CHP leader’s visit “holds great importance for the democratic forces after the illegitimate constitutional referendum.”
“The dialogue and coexistence of parties in an understanding of joint struggle have a great importance and meaning,” Kemalbay added.
“I hope this co-existence will be instrumental for our co-leaders, who are currently in prison, regaining their freedom. We think that in the coming period inter-party dialogue should continue within democratic principles in order to revitalize the democratic and universal human rights criteria,” she said, recalling that HDP co-leader Selahattin Demirtaş and former co-leader Figen Yüksekdağ are currently in prison along with 11 other HDP lawmakers.
CHP head Kılıçdaroğlu previously paid a visit to the Homeland Party (VP), the Democrat Party (DP) and the Felicity Party (FP) in a bid to consolidate the political camp that opposed the constitutional amendment shifting Turkey to an executive presidential system in the April 16 referendum.