CHP launches major 'democracy campaign'

CHP launches major 'democracy campaign'

CHP launches major democracy campaign

The CHP’s Gürsel Tekin calls on everyone to 'raise their voice' for peace. AA photo

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) is set to hold a meeting in Istanbul’s Kadıköy district on June 1 with the motto “We are challenging for democracy and freedom,” amid the country’s ongoing Kurdish-issue peace process.

CHP deputy chairman Gürsel Tekin said students, workers, subcontracted workers who had been fired and artists would attend, according to Doğan news agency.

Tekin said the meeting was not limited only to his party’s supporters but open to the “millions of citizens who have suffered” and were willing to challenge for democracy and freedom.

Tekin said the meetings held by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) were attended by civil servants mostly.

Fraud in Istanbul

Tekin also said Istanbul’s biggest issue was corruption but the media ignored it.

“If the leader of the main opposition party says there is fraud costing 100 billion to 150 billion dollars and if it fails to be visible in the media, we all need to think about it. Whoever they vote for, we call everyone to shout against corruption at our meeting. We will call out for peace, which is a very precious word,” Tekin said.

CHP Istanbul deputy Melda Onur said the meeting was not an alteration to the CHP’s policy toward the peace process.

“They always say the CHP is against the peace process; no, it is the CHP’s questioning attitude. Without a democratic basis to peace building, peace cannot be lasting,” Onur told the Hürriyet Daily News in a phone interview yesterday.

CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu attended an Istanbul meeting on May 24 focusing on the steps needed to be taken to resolve the Kurdish issue, in a move to further deepen his party’s role in the ongoing efforts.

The meeting came as a continuation of a previous “Democracy of Freedom for Peace” declaration, endorsed by various social and political figures, academics and journalists along with Kılıçdaroğlu’s Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Canan Kaftancıoğlu. The declaration previously included 111 democrats, including CHP deputies, and later on was targeted by seven hard-line CHP deputies who released a statement branding the attempt as voicing support for the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

No privilage for Sarıgül

The CHP is not a station for people to pick up supplies, Gürsel Tekin said about Istanbul’s Şişli Mayor Mustafa Sarıgül’s joining the CHP, answering a reporter’s question.

“CHP is a serious party; our door is open to everyone. Mr. Sarıgül, or someone else, there is no bargaining inside the CHP. Our door is open to everyone, let them come in,” Tekin said.

Sarıgül is a prominent figure, who can challange the AKP at the local elections in Istanbul, according to many.