CHP: We have not understood the same thing of post-coup unity
Deniz Zeyrek - ANKARA
AA photoKemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the head of Turkey’s main opposition party, has complained that the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) interpretation of the political unity which emerged following the July 15 failed coup attempt was only about getting the support of the opposition parties for governmental actions without considering the necessities of democracy and rule of law.
“What was the ‘Yenikapı Spirit’ about? A strong democracy. We said ‘yes’ for democracy. We said ‘yes’ for measures to avoid future coup attempts,” Kılıçdaroğlu, leader of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), told daily Hürriyet on Sept. 3 in an interview.
The Yenikapı Spirit was launched when more than 1 million Turkish people gathered in Istanbul’s Yenikapı Square to denounce the July 15 coup attempt with the participation of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and leaders of three political parties for the first time.
“What they [the AKP government] understand from the Yenikapı Spirit is: ‘We’ll do everything and the opposition should lend us support…’ What we understand from this, however, is to cooperate on measures to strengthen our democracy in order to prevent future coup attempts,” Kılıçdaroğlu stressed.
Some measures implemented through the authorities granted to the government by the declaration of a state of emergency were in violation of the constitution and democratic norms, Kılıçdaroğlu recalled, arguing that in some cases this power has been used on people who had nothing to do with the coup attempt.
“The authority you have taken from the parliament is about the fight against FETÖ [Fethullahist Terror Organization]. You cannot use it to clear out the universities and against dissidents that have no connection with FETÖ,” he said.
Likening the government’s actions with the junta administration that was formed after the 1980 coup d’état, which sacked thousands of academics from universities, the CHP leader urged the government to not come to the same position with the coup plotters of the past.
Kılıçdaroğlu said decree laws passed by the government contained many undemocratic articles and they needed to be corrected through another decree law, saying, “These depict a very sour picture for democracy and are not right in the name of democracy and rule of law. The authority taken from the state of emergency should not be turned into a tool to oppress intellectuals.”
Political leg of the coup plotters
In his meeting with editors-in-chief of news channels in Istanbul on Sept. 3, Kılıçdaroğlu argued that the government had found a booklet identifying the names of the president and the prime minister if the coup attempt on July 15 had been successful.
“He said he did not see the booklet. But he said he learned about it from the government,” Erdoğan Aktaş, head of broadcaster CNN Türk, said after the meeting. Aktaş said Kılıçdaroğlu did not mention whether he knew who those names were.