CHP leader vows to clear out ‘so-called’ party members

CHP leader vows to clear out ‘so-called’ party members

CHP leader vows to clear out ‘so-called’ party members

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Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has vowed to clear the party of “so-called” members whose sole concerns are winning tenders in CHP municipalities, in reaction to recent speculations on CHP Çankaya Mayor Alper Taşdelen.

“Gross slanders have been made [against Taşdelen]. And these traducers are so-called CHP members. I will wipe them all out. Our concern is Turkey; theirs is ‘How can I win a tender?’ There is no such thing. We will never allow this,” Kılıçdaroğlu told reporters over the weekend, on the occasion of the opening of a park built by the Çankaya Municipality for world-renown Turkish author Yaşar Kemal. 

A newspaper belonging to a former CHP lawmaker argued Taşdelen was shot by his father-in-law over a business-related argument and was secretly treated at a private hospital. Taşdelen categorically denied the allegations and filed a criminal complaint against the newspaper and its publisher. 

The story was published immediately after the Nov. 1 elections, the results of which prompted in-house calls at the CHP for a leadership change through an extraordinary convention. Former lawmaker Umut Oran and current İzmir deputy Mustafa Balbay have already announced their intention to run for the leadership. 

The call was reiterated on Nov. 8 through a press conference held by the former head of the CHP’s Ankara branch, Zeki Alçın, the Anadolu Agency reported. 

Alçın’s call to hold an extraordinary convention was supported by 42 former and current heads of provincial organizations.  “Voters no longer believe the current CHP management can fulfill the promises it has given. This is a problem of confidence, of being genuine and of spirit. This is a problem of leadership,” he said. 

Attacks on media not acceptable

Another issue Kılıçdaroğlu raised over the weekend was growing pressure on independent media. “Turkey has entered a new era. The media has become the first to be pressured,” he said. 

“Lawmakers have not taken their oaths yet; parliament has not been opened. First, pressure was put on the media. They may appear on TV and comfortably announce that ‘this and that cannot run this newspaper, we’ll operate it.’ Wasn’t the right of property sacred? If this can happen even before the opening of parliament, we should all think about it once again.”