Main opposition leader defines AKP government as a threat to Turkish Freedom in WSJ piece
ISTANBUL – Hürriyet Daily News
The CHP leader said Turkey is being increasingly polarized along sectarian, ethnic and gender lines. DHA PhotoTurkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu penned an opinion article for the U.S. daily Wall Street Journal, published on Nov. 25, accusing the Justice and Development Party (AKP) of being a “threat to Turkish Freedom.”
“The AKP leadership, ruling Turkey since 2002, has been systematically undermining our democracy by exploiting the sectarian ideology of Sunni Islam for political ends. The separation of powers and checks and balances that were written into the Turkish Constitution has been blatantly brushed aside. The judiciary is no longer independent and the legislature routinely carries out the directives of the prime minister,” Kılıçdaroğlu wrote.
Kılıçdaroğlu also blamed the AKP government for “extensive wiretapping,” saying it became “a fact of life.”
The CHP leader said Turkey is being increasingly polarized along sectarian, ethnic and gender lines.
“These divisions are exacerbated by the highly skewed wealth distribution among different socioeconomic classes, as well as between the different regions of the country. The government leadership seeks to dictate how many children families should have, how they should be brought up, educated, how they should behave in public, and what they should wear, eat and drink,” he said.
Kılıçdaroğlu also recalled the Gezi Park protests that started at the end of May and were suppressed by the police, resulting in claiming some five protesters and a police officer’s death.
“The reaction against this heavy-handed intrusion finally erupted in demonstrations across the country over the summer. The turmoil was triggered by events at Gezi Park in Istanbul in May, with a peaceful protest against a government decision to turn the park into a shopping center. The demonstrators’ demands were straightforward and powerful: democracy, freedom and a plea for the government to stop interfering in people’s lives. The government responded with a brutal crackdown against the demonstrators, using tear gas and other chemical agents that resulted in several deaths and thousands of injuries. Thousands more now face jail sentences,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.