CHP leader slams AKP-MHP coalition over charter bill

CHP leader slams AKP-MHP coalition over charter bill

CHP leader slams AKP-MHP coalition over charter bill

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A state in which power is concentrated in one hand is not just, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has said, criticizing an agreement between the ruling party Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) on a constitutional amendment that will impose a presidential system. 

“Is it right to give all the power to one person? ‘I am the state’ is the motto of Hitler. Does Mr. Bahçeli [Devlet, leader of the MHP] support this culture or not?” Kılıçdaroğlu said in a televised interview on NTV on Dec. 9. 

“Whatever concerns I might have about the future of Turkey, I hope Mr. Bahçeli also has them. In one sense, Turkey has almost turned out to be a North Korea, isolated from the civilized world,” he said. 

“They want to surrender Turkey to the ego of one person. How can citizens seek justice?” he added. 

Kılıçdaroğlu’s comments came after the AKP and the MHP announced that mutual discussions on a constitutional amendment had been completed and that the bill would be submitted to parliament on Dec. 10. 

Bahçeli initiated the constitutional amendment process in early October, criticizing the government for ruling the country with a de facto presidential system. He indicated that this de facto situation had to be legalized. 
Kılıçdaroğlu slammed Bahçeli’s initial comment, saying the presidential system would cause division in the country.

“What is a de facto situation? A person said, ‘I will violate the constitution, I will violate the oath I took.’ And then the answer is ‘if you are violating the constitution, then we will make the constitution comply with you.’ It is unacceptable. I cannot find a word to say,” he said.  

“The presidency is the fuse of the state. If the state institutions do not work in harmony, there should be a referee. In our system, it is the [current] president,” he said. 

“Now the president will be part of one political side. He will be the president of his own public. It is not possible. They should not fool people,” he said.

Noting that the last constitution accepted in Turkey was approved by 92 percent of the votes just after the Sept. 12, 1980, coup d’état, Kılıçdaroğlu said the legitimacy of any vote under which democracy is suspended would be questionable.  

“We might even consider questioning the legitimacy of any constitution which would receive a ‘yes’ with 92 percent of the votes. In which conditions did people vote in that constitution? Democracy had been suspended. Now democracy is also suspended,” he said. 

Saying the constitution had to be prepared in an environment where social consensus was assured, Kılıçdaroğlu said amendments could not be made under circumstances in which a state of emergency is still in place. 

“Constitutions are social consensus texts. Constitutions are not prepared in the kitchen of a party,” he said. 

“In which country is the constitution changed during state of emergency rule? We had said we would participate if the parliamentary regime would be strengthened, we said we would participate if we got rid of the constitution of a coup d’état,” he said.