CHP leader urges PM Davutoğlu to prove authority by dismissing ministers over Ankara attack
Deniz Zeyrek - GAZİANTEP
DHA PhotoRepublican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has called on Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu to take the initiative to dismiss or force the resignation of Turkey’s justice and interior ministers over security failures before the double suicide bombing killed at least 97 people in Ankara on Oct. 10.
“Davutoğlu needs to use his own will,” Kılıçdaroğlu said on Oct. 14, stressing that Davutoğlu now had a chance to prove himself and make his own decisions without appealing to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for consulation.
“You are the prime minister, you should act a little independently of him. Urgently dismiss the two ministers, prove yourself for once,” he said, speaking to a group of journalists en route from Ankara to Gaziantep.
He was speaking after the Interior Ministry announced on Oct. 13 that it had removed Ankara’s police, intelligence and security chiefs from their posts order to help the investigation into the bombing.
Kılıçdaroğlu said these dismissals were “not sufficient” and demanded prompt action from Davutoğlu.
“Say ‘I’m the prime minister of this country’ and prove yourself. I’m saying this because I want to get the constitutional ground settled in Turkey. The prime minister is the responsible authority in this area; the president has no responsibility,” the CHP head said, repeating his criticism that President Erdoğan has been exceeding his constitutional authorities and bypassing Davutoğlu.
“[Dismissal of officials] is not sufficient. The ones who are politically responsible in this matter needs to resign. It is like that in all democracies. And not just in democracies - it is like that in Saudi Arabia too,” Kılıçdaroğlu said, recalling how Saudi Arabia’s King Salman ordered the removal of senior officials after a stampede that killed hundreds of pilgrims during the hajj in the holy city of Mecca late last month.
He also recalled how Latvia’s former prime minister resigned after a deadly supermarket roof collapse.
“These ministers need to go. The biggest massacre in the history of our republic has been experienced and there is a reaction from the public,” Kılıçdaroğlu said, claiming that the official investigation by the Interior Ministry would not be reliable because inspectors would not be able to address the responsibility of their superiors.
When asked about claims by some pro-government circles that the attack aimed to prevent the Justice and Development Party (AKP) from winning a parliamentary majority in the Nov. 1 snap election, Kılıçdaroğlu briefly responded: “Then they should have prevented the attack. It is that simple. He is the prime minister.”
“I know that there is a grave demoralization in society. Our biggest wish is to get through the election safe and sound. Until today, no question would have been asked about whether there is election security. For the first time, as a society, we have become concerned over election security,” the CHP leader said when asked about the environment surrounding the Nov. 1 snap election.
Rally by convicted criminal
Meanwhile, Kılıçdaroğlu also touched on the “rally against terror” held by Sedat Peker, a notorious convicted criminal. Campaigning in favor of the AKP during the Oct. 9 meeting in Rize, Peker said “blood will flow greatly” if the security forces “tire” in the fight against terrorism, saying he would lead the crowds at that point. An official investigation into the rally was launched on Oct. 13.
“Until we brought the matter to the agenda, everybody, including the president, remained silent. Silence gives consent,” the CHP head said on the issue.