CHP leader challenges President Erdoğan to discuss July 15 coup attempt in TV debate
ANKARAThe leader of the main opposition party has reiterated his challenge to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for a televised debate over the July 15 coup attempt, after he was harshly accused of supporting coup plotters for calling the putsch a “controlled coup.”
“I openly invite this person and I use his own words—if you are courageous, if you are not a coward, if you are not a despot, if you are not fearful, then let’s debate the July 15 coup attempt together on a channel of one of your media institutions at the time of your choice. Let the people learn who is speaking the truth and who is not,” Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said in his address to the party on July 18.
Kılıçdaroğlu had invited Erdoğan to this challenge before the April 16 constitutional referendum but Erdoğan did not respond.
The commemoration program for the July 15 coup attempt had been changed three times by the parliament speaker in order to prevent Kılıçdaroğlu’s address to the crowds that gathered in front of the parliament last week.
“Who changed the program? The parliament speaker did. Why? Upon the instruction of one man; one authority—this person is not the parliament speaker but the yes-man of the [presidential] palace,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.
Gov’t seeks to eliminate opposition: CHP
Decree laws issued under the state of emergency rule are part of an ongoing struggle against the oppositional political parties, Kılıçdaroğlu argued, accusing the government of resorting to non-peaceful means to eliminate the dissident politicians and political bodies.
“As you know, the AKP [Justice and Development Party] has a political academy. I will read you a line from a lecture note from a course in this academy—‘Politics is not only done through democratic ways. Physically eliminating, jailing, frightening and intimidating the opposition who may constitute an obstacle for pursuing your politics can be seen within the boundaries of political activities,’” he said.
“Isn’t it displaying today’s picture?” he asked, in an obvious reference to the imprisonment of the CHP Istanbul Deputy Enis Berberoğlu and co-leaders of the Kurdish-issue focused People’s Democratic Party (HDP) Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ along with around a dozen HDP lawmakers.
This lecture note being taught in the 10th grade of the AKP’s political academy should be considered as evidence the ruling party does not rule out conducting its politics through non-peaceful means.
“They complain the opposition talks too much in parliament. Well, if you like, let’s not talk at all. Let’s shut the opposition [parties] down!” said Kılıçdaroğlu, criticizing the government for trying to silence the opposition in parliament through an amendment on internal parliamentary regulations.