Turkey’s real agenda in 2020 is democracy economy, says CHP
The news on a court decision that sentenced seven prominent journalists of the opposition newspaper, daily Sözcü, to imprisonment broke on Dec. 27 when this columnist was at a meeting with the main opposition, Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu.
The court ruled that veteran columnists Emin Çölaşan and Necati Doğru were sentenced to three years and six months in prison for aiding FETÖ, while the publisher of the paper Burak Akbay faces 30 years in jail over terrorism charges in a different case.
The main opposition leader’s reaction to the court decision was straightforward: “It’s yet another concrete evidence that there is no justice in Turkey and that the judicial bodies are under the control of the political power.”
This decision is aiming to depict what is white as black, but it fails to label these columnists as supporters of a terror organization, Kılıçdaroğlu said, describing the latest verdict on the Sözcü journalists as the continuation of a crackdown on dissident opinions, journalists, academics and politicians.
“If you start to get afraid of the media because it reports the truth, then it’s about time you start to lose. This is the process President Erdoğan and his close circle is in. You cannot deliver justice by controlling the judges,” he added.
He also commented on Osman Kavala’s case after a local court denied to implement a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) that called on Turkey for an immediate release of the businessman who is behind bars for more than two years without any conviction.
“Kavala is in prison for nothing. He is behind bars because Erdoğan wants him there,” Kılıçdaroğlu stressed. He also slammed Justice Minister Abdülhamit Gül who argued that Kavala could not be released because the translation of the ECHR has not reached the court on time.
“You are the justice minister and responsible for delivering justice. Plus, you are the chairman of the Supreme Council of Judges and Prosecutors. Why don’t you remove the judge that did not implement the ECHR’s decision?” he asked.
No early polls in 2020
Despite all the efforts by the government, the real agenda of Turkey is still economy and democracy and not the Kanal Istanbul, the Libya dossier or other side issues, Kılıçdaroğlu said.
“For example, the minimum wage they have announced yesterday. This has lost its meaning. It’s even less than the hunger limit. It tells that the government’s wrongdoings in almost all fields will be sponsored by the lowest classes of the society,” Kılıçdaroğlu said. “Who is going to pay the price of the economic crisis? The poor. It’s clear as daylight. The winner is the ones in the presidential palace and their business partners.”
Despite all these, Kılıçdaroğlu predicts that there will be no snap elections in 2020, but he said the CHP continues to work as if the polls will take place next Sunday. “Erdoğan will lose in the first coming elections. The thing is that what damage he will leave behind. He will do whatever he can to stay in power, and we will do whatever possible to let him lose within the boundaries of the law,” he added.
Satisfied with messages by new parties
The CHP leader shared his initial assessments on the new political movements led by former Justice and Development Party (AKP) officials, Ahmet Davutoğlu and Ali Babacan. When asked how the composition of the political alliances would be affected in the coming period as Davutoğlu has formed his Future Party and Babacan is expected to announce his own party in January, Kılıçdaroğlu stressed:
“There can always be new alliances. I think we would observe more political moves ahead of the polls. But what I should emphasize is the fact that Turkey has been polarized under two main titles: those who are in favor of democracy and an authoritarian regime. Therefore, there should be two main camps,” he stressed.
The CHP leader said he is closely following the messages given by Davutoğlu and Babacan and what he has been hearing so far from them was satisfactory. “They say they are in favor of a strengthened parliamentary system. I welcome this. Because we are on the same page on key issues although we differ on certain themes. What Turkey needs is the immediate restoration of a democratic regime. Therefore, all the parties that favor democratic regime should cooperate,” he added.
Urging everybody that these efforts should not be simplified as who will be the joint presidential candidate, Kılıçdaroğlu said, “Persons are temporary, but the institutions are permanent. There is no problem if the designated president would support democracy and human rights. Our sole concern is to catch a democratic order.”