CHP leader kicks off rallies against presidential system, vows to protect parliamentary system
People attend a rally organized by the CHP in Adana on Dec 3. / AA PhotoTurkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) head Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has vowed to protect the democratic parliamentary system in Turkey against a government-supported shift to a presidential system, speaking at a party rally in the southern province of Adana on Dec. 3.
“The philosophy that established our republic must be a value for all of us to uphold. The ones who built this republic paid a heavy price and fought for a better Turkey to leave to their children and grandchildren,” Kılıçdaroğlu said, vowing his commitment to protect the parliamentary system.
The potential change in Turkey’s governance system is set to be introduced in a bill that will make changes on the country’s constitution. After long negotiations, the leaders of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) on Dec. 1 announced they agreed on articles that will be changed in the constitution, while the AKP said it would introduce the draft to parliament this week. The draft has to have 330 votes in parliament in order to be taken to the people with a referendum.
“If Turkey belongs to all of us, and if we fight for this, we have to stop engaging in politics through identities. We should stop doing politics through beliefs and lifestyles,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.
He vowed that there would be no oppression if his party came to power, pointing the finger at those who “polarized” Turkey by politicizing belief and identity.
“There is no rule of law in Turkey. It is simply the law of the superiors,” he said.
“He [President Erdoğan] says ‘I don’t listen to the constitution. I don’t respect the constitution.’ When it comes to the people there is law; when it comes to [Erdoğan], there is not,” Kılıçdaroğlu added.
Ahead of the rally in Adana, on Dec. 3, the CHP head visited the burned down girls’ dormitory in the Aladağ district, where 12 people died in a fire on Nov. 29, believed to have been caused by negligence.
“We lost our children. We always try to learn from our mistakes after any incident happens,” he said.
Calling on the government to force more careful inspections of dormitory safety measures, Kılıçdaroğlu said “clever people” who run a state with experience would have taken the necessary precautions before such accidents happen.
“Taking care of these children is our duty. There can be no politics with this,” he said, adding that he hoped this saddening incident would be a “lesson to the whole nation.”