CHP defends pro-democracy declaration, vows to fight ‘fear and darkness’

CHP defends pro-democracy declaration, vows to fight ‘fear and darkness’

CHP defends pro-democracy declaration, vows to fight ‘fear and darkness’

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The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) will continue to support the four-article written statement it issued on the recent arrest of opposition lawmakers and journalists and will not surrender to “fear and darkness,” CHP Deputy Chair and spokesperson Selin Sayek Böke said on Nov. 9. The party has faced a harsh backlash over the document in support of arrested Kurdish issue-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputies and daily Cumhuriyet journalists. 

Böke said those who “established an empire of fear in the country are afraid of manifestations of courage,” while vowing not to surrender in the face of “intimidation” directed at them. 

“We, as all CHP members, stand behind our statement,” she added, speaking to daily BirGün ahead of the party’s Central Executive Board (MYK) meeting on Nov. 9. 

CHP Deputy Chair Veli Ağbaba also claimed that “those who accused the CHP of lending support to terror are themselves responsible for terror.” 

Ağbaba accused the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) as being responsible for all problems experienced in Turkey, noting the “opening of borders to [the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant] ISIL felons and arming them.”

“Those who did this are terrorists,” he said, lashing out at criticisms from the AKP and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), which accused the CHP of “supporting terrorism.”

Ağbaba also criticized the AKP for paving the way for the infiltration of those “who bombed the parliament on July 15 and fired bullets on citizens out in streets,” referring to the Gülen movement, an ally-turned-foe of the Turkish government. 

CHP Deputy Parliamentary Group Chair Özgür Özel also defended the declaration, saying “the president’s threats and the prime minister’s insults cannot deter us. We stand behind this declaration as strong as a rock.” 

Özel also commented on the criminal complaint filed against the declaration by AKP members, saying the move was taken with the initiative of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

AKP Deputy Chair Abdülhamit Gül had announced that the party has filed a legal complaint against the CHP’s statement, while President Erdoğan has also filed a complaint, state-run Anadolu Agency reported.

“If there was an independent judiciary to take that complaint into consideration, there would be only one criminal complaint coming out of it: The prosecutors might find themselves obliged to take action against AKP executives, ministers, the prime minister and its former prime minister,” Özel said in response.