Opposition failed to send four ministers to court: President Erdoğan
The opposition MHP and CHP leaders are seen during the vote at parliament on Jan. 20. Hürriyet Photo/Selahattin DemirtaşRather than question the 48 lawmakers who broke the ruling party’s discipline to vote in favor of sending four former ministers to court on corruption allegations, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has publicly chosen to focus on the failure of the opposition parties in the parliamentary vote.
“I was expecting a different question: You should have asked, ‘Why weren’t there 276 votes [to take the former ministers to the Supreme Council]?’ Or you should have asked the same question to those who were trying to reach 276 votes,” Erdoğan said, in response to a question on the apparent division within the Justice and Development Party (AKP) on the Jan. 20 vote. A total of 276 votes were necessary to cross the threshold and send the former ministers to the Supreme Council.
Citing the president’s constitutionally “impartial” role, Erdoğan said he could “only respond to the question as a citizen.”
However, he did choose to note that the first court trying the case ruled not to prosecute the four names, and then the government subsequently initiated the parliamentary panel to probe the corruption claims.
“It wasn’t the opposition that formed the commission, but the government. Despite all the efforts of the opposition, it has been concluded in such a way that these four ministers will not be sent to the Supreme Council,” Erdoğan added.