Package is cosmetics, main opposition leader Kılıçdaroğlu says
DHA PhotoThe democratization package falls short of addressing Turkey’s main problems and enhances the government’s authoritarian tendencies, the leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has said. Belittling the package for its incapacity to provide a cure for the country’s ills, CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said these had been mostly aggravated in the last 11 years under the Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) rule.
“I am saying this clearly, Turkey’s problems cannot be solved with cosmetics. This is short-sightedness, looseness, lack of seriousness,” Kılıçdaroğlu said, in a press conference held in the party headquarters yesterday, a day after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s announcement of the package.
“The package that has come out is a package brought in to enhance a majoritarian authoritarian regime,” Kılıçdaroğlu said, arguing that the AKP had only introduced this skin-deep package to ward off social pressure. “No package that does not touch the election system in Turkey, the law on political parties and parliamentary regulations, can democratize Turkey,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.
While slamming the proposal of “narrowed regions,” Kılıçdaroğlu said the root of the problem was the election threshold itself, and should the AKP propose to lower it, say to 3 percent, the CHP would have backed such proposals wholeheartedly.
Kılıçdaroğlu also pointed to a lack of sincerity, as his party had already proposed similar changes, yet to be vetoed by the AKP. “What they brought before us today is a bad copy of our proposals,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.
“You are announcing a so-called democratization package; you impose censorship on some media organs,” he said. “Such a package was prepared behind closed doors, leaving behind all elements of society, even the members of the cabinet,” he added.
On the same day, Kılıçdaroğlu paid a visit to Mustafa Balbay, an imprisoned CHP deputy who was sentenced to 34 years and eight months in prison over charges related to the Ergenekon coup trial, serving his time in Sincan Prison. “A deputy who was elected with the people’s will has been under arrest for a long time,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.