CHP leader cuts trip short after HDP, Cumhuriyet arrests

CHP leader cuts trip short after HDP, Cumhuriyet arrests

CHP leader cuts trip short after HDP, Cumhuriyet arrests Turkey’s main opposition leader has cut his trip to the Aegean region short and called for emergency meetings of his party’s executive boards.

Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu returned to Ankara from his trip to İzmir after nine Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) lawmakers were arrested on Nov. 4 and nine journalists and executives were arrested on Nov. 5 in the probe on daily Cumhuriyet.

Kılıçdaroğlu will convene his party’s Central Executive Board (MYK) later on Nov. 5 and Party Assembly on Nov. 6 for emergency meetings to discuss the situation.

On Nov. 4, Kılıçdaroğlu has condemned the detention of the HDP deputies, including its co-chairs, saying the actions send Turkey “in a dangerous direction.” 

Speaking in İzmir, Kılıçdaroğlu said such moves were being made in an attempt to prepare the ground to introduce a presidential system in Turkey, as desired by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. 

He stressed that “those who come to power with elections should go with elections.”

“You can never bring peace to a country if you say ‘I will apprehend those who came with elections, jail them, kill them, destroy them, shoot them and silence them in mafia-like ways,’” Kılıçdaroğlu said, adding that “the fight against terror should be carried out with logic.” 

“We are against the jailing of politicians, scientists and journalists over their views. If you defend democracy, then you should recognize that those who come to power with elections should go with elections. If not, you will slaughter democracy,” he added. 

The CHP leader also blasted the government’s new venture to participate in overseas operations against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) to fight terror. 

“They do not take any action against Kandil, which is also nearby,” Kılıçdaroğlu said, referring to the area in northern Iraq where the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) is based. 

Other CHP deputies have condemned the HDP lawmakers’ detentions, describing the detentions as a “coup” in the country. 

CHP deputies Sezgin Tanrıkulu and Ali Şeker slammed the detention of their co-parliamentarians, with Şeker describing the detentions as a “new blow” to Turkey and Tanrıkulu saying it was “not only a coup, but also a mission to divide the country. Parliament has been bombed once again.”