President Erdoğan accuses opposition MPs, media of supporting terror
AA PhotoPresident Recep Tayyip Erdoğan devoted his latest verbal attack to opposition lawmakers and media organizations, accusing them of treason for being the “partners of the terrorists” who were involved in the killing of Prosecutor Mehmet Selim Kiraz last week.
“I openly say: Those who can’t call a terrorist a terrorist is the partner of the terrorist. Those who can’t call this incident an act of terror are open supporters of terror. Some CHP [Republican People’s Party] and HDP [Peoples’ Democratic Party] lawmakers, who don’t call a terrorist a terrorist, are accusing security personnel of committing state terror,” Erdoğan told a group of neighborhood and village heads on April 8.
“We see that some representatives of the professional chambers and nongovernmental organizations are acting in the same manner. It does not matter whether he is a party chairman or a lawmaker. Nobody’s titles can hide whether he or she is a terrorism supporter. Just like the terrorists who killed our prosecutor, those who support them are also terrorists,” he said.
Kiraz was killed on March 31 following an eight-hour standoff that began after Şafak Yayla and Bahtiyar Doğruyol, two members of the outlawed Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C), took him hostage, demanding that the police who killed 15-year-old Berkin Elvan during the 2013 Gezi protests publicly reveal themselves.
Criticizing and strongly condemning some media outlets without naming them for printing a picture of the prosecutor as militants held a gun to his head; Erdoğan said: “You can’t see such a thing in Western countries that are accepted as the cradle of democracy, rights and freedoms. In these countries, the media outlets that turn into propaganda tools of terrorism and the terrorists are shut down.”
The president said Turkey should also bring similar “Western standards” to Turkey as well.
“I should say that some media organizations covered this incident in violation of sensitivities, laws, humanity and morality. I strongly condemn these media organizations who stood with the terrorists instead of the victim,” Erdoğan said.
Kiraz had shown progress in shedding light on the killing of Elvan during the 2013 Gezi protests, Erdoğan said. “It’s clear that killing our prosecutor will not help clarify the incident. The purpose of this act is to keep it in darkness so that terror organizations can use it as a propaganda tool.”
Erdoğan, however, has consistently implied that Elvan was a terrorist when he was struck down by police, putting him into a coma that last 269 days until his death on March 11, 2014. Erdoğan also exhorted crowds to boo Elvan’s mother, Gülsüm Elvan, during election rallies last year.
Arguing that some media organizations had tried to depict the militants as “flower children,” Erdoğan also criticized the foreign media and foreign media organizations for continuously focusing on the issue of jailed journalists.
“They are this kind of terrorists,” Erdoğan said, recalling one of his recent meetings with such foreign organizations. “They came and asked for the release of jailed journalists. I ask them: ‘Do you know the press members you are talking about? They are murderers of police, killers of watchman. They are robbers. They are those who walk around with a fake press card.’”
‘Not old Turkey, this is new Turkey’
Recalling that some lawyers and the head of the Istanbul Bar Association, Ümit Kocasakal, were resisting security guards attempting to search legal representatives at the entrance to the courthouse in the wake of Kiraz’s killing, Erdoğan said, “Everybody will be searched and should be searched.”
Kocasakal was among those who tried to convince Yayla and Doğruyol to cease their action, Erdoğan said. “What result did you get? You got nothing. As if your words were heard? They are terrorists. You should know about it. You can’t frighten us by publishing pages of announcements in the newspapers. These acts were in the old Turkey, there is now the new Turkey.”
New structure needed
The president also talked about the need to adopt a presidential system for Turkey in order to continue growing. “Some 52 percent of the society voiced its demand for a new constitution as well as a presidential system,” he said, arguing that Turkey had lost nearly 40 years because of coalition governments.
“The road has ended with the existing system. If we want to go forward, we need to change the system,” said Erdoğan, calling himself “The village head of Turkey” dealing with all the problems of the country.