Ruling AKP afraid of democracy: CHP leader
The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is afraid of an early election, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has said, slamming the government’s justice and democracy record.
“We recommend democracy. So let’s have an election. Who will win? All of us will win. They are afraid because they do not believe in democracy. They want to use democracy as a tool,” Kılıçdaroğlu said on Oct. 28 during a speech at a program organized by the Turkish Social Economic Political Research Foundation (TÜSES).
The CHP leader has called for early elections a number of times over the past week, criticizing the current state of justice and democracy in Turkey.
“According to the government everybody should be silent. Only he [President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan] can speak. Nobody else should think, only he will think. A political understanding that regards people as merely a commodity has started to prevail. But we will demolish that culture,” he said.
Kılıçdaroğlu also reiterated his criticism of the recent resignations of AKP mayors, saying “mayors are either dismissed or forced to resign.”
“Almost half of the entire [Turkish] population lives in cities where mayors have been dismissed or forced to resign. They are either been dismissed in state of emergency decrees or are forced to resign by blackmail,” he said.
‘Justice under siege’
Kılıçdaroğlu also referred to the recent release of German activist Peter Steudtner, who had been under arrest along with 10 other human rights activists in a case where they had been held on terror charges.
The 10 activists were released in a continuing case on Oct. 25, and Kılıçdaroğlu referred to German weekly Der Spiegel’s report stating that Steutdtner’s release came after the mediation of former German Chancellor Gerhard Shröder, who intervened directly with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gül denied the report on Oct. 27, but Kılıçdaroğlu argued that Shröder’s intervention was the trigger in their release.
"Look at the state of the judiciary. If not for Schröder, [the rights activists] would have never been released. We are sure about that ... What justice are we talking about? The judiciary is under siege,” he said.
“What about the media? What media are we talking about? It is a media under siege. What about universities? They are also being destroyed by state of emergency implementations,” he added.