AKP ‘behind raid’ on CHP’s municipality

AKP ‘behind raid’ on CHP’s municipality

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
AKP ‘behind raid’ on CHP’s municipality

Eskişehir football team’s fans support the city’s mayor Yılmaz Büyükerşen with a placard reading, ‘his name is Yılmaz, no one can intimidate us.’ DHA photo

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has denounced the recent police raid on the Eskişehir Municipality, which is headed by a CHP member mayor, accusing the ruling party of directing the operation.

“The Justice and Development Party [AKP] has kicked off its local elections campaign in Eskişehir with this police raid against the municipality,” Kılıçdaroğlu said yesterday in his address to his party’s parliamentary group, adding that he would today (Wednesday) visit Eskişehir Mayor Yılmaz Büyükerşen in a show of solidarity. “We will not allow the mud-slingers to tarnish [Büyükerşen’s] honor,” CHP leader said.

Police detained 22 people working at the Eskişehir Municipality on Jan. 28 during raids on their homes, conducted as part of an investigation into the “city development tender.”

The investigation regarding the tender began two years ago, but the municipality offices were not searched by police as the related documents had previously been investigated.

Kılıçdaroğlu said the operation against the municipality was launched at a time when the Eskişehir chief prosecutor was on recess.

“The file [about the investigation into the tender] was closed two years ago, but another prosecutor launched an operation by bringing police officers from outside Eskişehir. Mr. Prosecutor, do you think you can intimidate us with this operation? The prosecutor who launched this operation cannot be considered a prosecutor - he is an official of the AKP for us,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.

In further remarks, Kılıçdaroğlu continued his harsh criticism of Turkey’s judicial system, particularly of the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK). The HSYK condemned Kılıçdaroğlu last week after the CHP leader referred to a news report that stated that a court judge in the Balyoz (Sledgehammer) coup plot case had been removed from duty by the HSYK “because the judge did not carry out instructions imposed by the government.”

“Have you committed yourself to criticizing the CHP after all of our criticisms? Why did you remain silent when the prime minister said: ‘We gave instructions to the judiciary,’” Kılıçdaroğlu said.

‘PM seeks Turkey’s separation from modern world’

Kılıçdaroğlu also chided Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s suggestion that Turkey could consider seeking membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) as an alternative, at a time when the EU’s future looks increasingly dim.

“The West is not just a geographic term; it represents a civilization at the same time. You are attempting to separate Turkey from the modern world. Why? To whom did you ask? The SCO is a security-based international organization. Where will you put the NATO membership?” Kılıçdaroğlu said.

The CHP leader stressed that the party was not against having close relations with SCO members. “But that shouldn’t cause Turkey to move away from Western civilization.”