Çiçek slams refusal of CHP visit

Çiçek slams refusal of CHP visit

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Parliament Speaker Cemil Çiçek has criticized the military’s decision not to allow main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) lawmakers to visit the families of the victims of the Afyonkarahisar ammunition depot accident. 

“The visitors are deputies of this country. They wanted to visit and share the pain of the people. I do not find it right to deny their entry due to regulations,” Çiçek said.

The accident in the western province of Afyonkarahisar killed 25 soldiers on Sept. 5. The bodies of the victims of the blast have been taken to Ankara for DNA inspection, and their families were invited to the Ankara military hospital, GATA. CHP lawmakers Levent Gök and İzzet Çetin, as well as the party’s Ankara head, Zeki Alçın, wanted to visit these families, but their request was denied by the GATA administration. 

Çiçek said this denial of entry should not be accepted. “This is not correct … they should have considered that the visitors were lawmakers, so finding a solution according to this reality should have been possible.” 

The office of the Chief of General Staff issued a written statement upon the denial of entry. The statement said that visits to military institutions were regulated and that decisions were taken according to these regulations. It also asked for civilians to be sensitive about military rules.

Meanwhile, the DNA inspections of the fallen soldiers have been concluded, and their bodies are expected to be returned to their families today.

CHP deputies had also applied to visit the Apaydın refugee camp in Hatay province in late August. The camp was founded for refugees fleeing the violence in neighboring Syria. The CHP had claimed that the camp was being used for military purposes and that their entry request was denied because of this. One week after the authorities’ refusal, a group of Justice and Development Party (AKP) and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) deputies were granted permission to visit the camp. The CHP refused to join this delegation.