Ergenekon case an excuse to try anti-government figures: CHP leader

Ergenekon case an excuse to try anti-government figures: CHP leader

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Ergenekon case an excuse to try anti-government figures: CHP leader

DHA Photo

The Ergenekon coup plot case became a holding pen for all those who were anti-government, main opposition leader Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has said.

“The people that the government wanted to settle accounts with but was unable to do so in the past were put [into the Ergenekon case],” Kılıçdaroğlu told a collection of journalists late Aug. 12 during a wide-ranging interview on CNNTürk.

The government operates based on the mentality that the place for people who are against the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is Silivri, he said, in reference to the Istanbul district where the Ergenekon case was heard.

On Aug. 5, more than 250 generals, journalists and others were sentenced to long prison sentences, including life times, for their role in a supposed ultranationalist plot to overthrow the AKP.

'They are threatening me'
Kılıçdaroğlu also said he had been threatened by government officials over his reaction to the Ergenekon rulings. “They are threatening me, saying that if you criticize the court, we’ll try you too. This proves that the court is in their hands.”

Touching on the life sentence given to former Chief of General Staff Gen. İlker Başbuğ, who was the country’s top soldier between 2006 and 2010, the CHP leader demanded that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan also be tried, given that he was responsible for the general’s appointment.

“Under whose rule did İlker Başbuğ get promoted? During the AKP’s rule. Why was he sentenced to life in prison as a member of a terrorist organization? He was meeting with the prime minister and president every week,” Kılıçdaroğlu said, adding that if the country’s political leaders had appointed Başbuğ to his position, then they should also be tried with “aiding and abetting terrorism.”

The CHP chief also said unsolved murders from the last 30 years had not been solved with the case. 

“Prosecuting [such incidents] with these sorts of courts is impossible. These sorts of courts are the types of courts that give rulings according to political [orders],” he said. 

“It’s not necessary to even go back that far. Has any light been shed on Uludere? No,” he said in reference to continued questions as to who ordered the military to kill 34 villagers from the southeastern province of Şırnak’s Uludere district on the supposition that they were terrorists in late 2011.

Sarıgül must first become CHP member
Responding to a question on whether Şişli Mayor Mustafa Sarıgül would run for Istanbul metropolitan mayor under the CHP’s banner, Kılıçdaroğlu said Sarıgül first had to become a member of the party before such an issue could be discussed.

Kılıçdaroğlu also said he would take the Gezi incidents into consideration when shaping the party in the future, responding to a question as to whether famous Gezi protesters, such as theater actor Mehmet Ali Alabora, would run for local office as CHP candidates.