Main opposition leader meets President Gül, shares worries over recent protests
Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu. DHA Photo
Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu met with President Abdullah Gül on June 3 to share his worries over the week-long protests across the country, criticizing Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s attitude on the issue.
After the meeting, Kılıçdaroğlu answered questions from reporters about whether he had discussed calling for an extraordinary Cabinet meeting to be held, saying he had reminded the president of his constitutional authority.
“I said the language of the prime minister tended to escalate incidents, rather than calm them. I said a president had important tasks to do,” he said.
The president is authorized to “summon Parliament when necessary and to call the Cabinet to meet under his chairmanship whenever he deems it necessary,” according to Article 104 of the Constitution.
“I told him that the incidents in Taksim, my visit there, the profile of the [protesters], their demands for freedom and democracy, were quite normal in democracies,” Kılıçdaroğlu said, adding that the president had said recalled that he had called for calmness three times.
Commenting on Erdoğan’s recent words that he would struggle to stop 50 percent of society keeping out of the tension, Kılıçdaroğlu said that only a prime minister without a sense of responsibility would make such a statement.
“He should call for common sense,” he added.
“It is not democracy when you say ‘I hold control of 50 percent of the society and I can put them on the field with sticks in their hands whenever I want to, and then a battle will come out,’ this is the discourse of dictators,” Kılıçdaroğlu said, also adding that his party did not approve of protests damaging public goods.
He stressed once again that there was “no doubt” that the police had used disproportionate force against protesters.
The call for the unexpected meeting with Gül came from the CHP head earlier today.