Post-coup attempt arrests should not turn into a witch hunt: CHP
ANKARA – The Associated Press
AFP photoTurkey’s polarized political factions should learn from their mistakes and overcome their antagonism, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) chair Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has said, adding that the crackdown in the aftermath of the July 15 coup attempt should not turn into a “witch hunt.”
In an interview with The Associated Press conducted at the CHP headquarters on July 26, Kılıçdaroğlu said Turkey’s parties could re-boot tense relations following the trauma of the coup attempt, amid tentative moves toward political rapprochement among all major parties.
However, the CHP also cautioned that authorities should act within the law and pursue only those linked to the coup plot.
“Those who are innocent should not be thrown into the fire with those who are guilty,” he said, as thousands were either detained or suspended from duty as part of a nationwide crackdown on people suspected of having links to the movement of U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, an ally turned nemesis of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) who is accused of masterminding the coup plot.
The Interior Ministry has suspended a total of 8,777 officials from duty since the failed attempt, while a total of 2,745 judges and prosecutors have been suspended from their duties over the same period.
CHP head Kılıçdaroğlu also called for “self-criticism” in order to ensure that such attempts to do not recur in the future.
“We all need to engage in self-criticism,” he said, apparently referring to the previous alliance between Gülen and the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government, which was blasted by the CHP at the time.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan hosted the leaders of three parties represented at parliament at the Presidential Palace on July 25, thanking his political foes for condemning the coup attempt. The meeting was hailed as a sign of reconciliation, although the co-chairs of the fourth party – the Kurdish problem-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) – were not invited.
The president has also decided to withdraw all court cases he previously opened against the chairs of opposition parties, according to a report by Reuters, citing presidential sources.