Turkey turned into open prison, CHP leader says

Turkey turned into open prison, CHP leader says

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Turkey turned into open prison, CHP leader says

The CHP chairman slammed the government over the arrest of former chief of Gen. Staff Başbuğ over the weekend, arguing the court was directed by the government.

One day after main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has described Turkey as an “open prison” over the arrest of former top commander İlker Başbuğ, he issued a statement on the 1000th day CHP Deputy Professor Mehmet Haberal’s has spent at the “Silivri Concentration Camp.”

“Our Zonguldak Deputy Professor Mehmet Haberal has now completed his 1000th day at the Silivri Concentration Camp. Together with Haberal and Balbay, a total of eight deputies -- the ones who have been elected by the scared votes of the people -- are detained in prisons,” the written statement said.

Kılıçdaroğlu also said the president, the speaker of Parliament, deputy prime ministers, ministers and many other top officials were declaring they were against long terms of detention. “I want to ask,” the statement said, “If you are sincere, why don’t you move a finger for those outstanding people specially authorized courts have sent to concentration camps?”

Arrest of Başbuğ
The CHP chairman slammed the government over the arrest of Başbuğ over the weekend, arguing the court was directed by the government.

“Rule of law is just a notion on paper for Turkey. There is no rule of law in practice. Judiciary has been politicized. Specially authorized courts are the instruments of the political authority. I don’t trust in the impartiality of the judges of these courts,” Kılıçdaroğlu said on dissident TV channel Ulusal Kanal.

Detention of Başbuğ was the result of the “poor justice system,” according to Kılıçdaroğlu. “Başbuğ has been arrested today, it may be somebody else tomorrow,” he said.

Stressing that Başbuğ was inducted as chief of General Staff during the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) term, Kılıçdaroğlu said: “If you appointed this person to his post, then he cannot be the only one responsible. Those who appointed him also have the responsibility. The prime minister should speak on this issue; he cannot remain silent.”

The CHP leader also indicated that the arrest of Başbuğ by a specially authorized court decision is jurally problematical. According to the constitution, chiefs of General Staff, even if they are retired, can only be judged by the Supreme Council, Kılıçdaroğlu recalled. The arrest of Başbuğ was a “judicial defect,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.

Such shocking decisions were likely to take place in the future to divert attention from the compelling circumstances of the government, he said. “Some special files are being kept in the drawers of specially authorized courts. When the AKP is stranded, a file would be taken out of the drawer, somebody would be arrested and public attention would be diverted,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.

Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, İlker Başbuğ, Turkey, Ulusal Kanal