Freedoms restricted under state of emergency, main opposition CHP leader says
AA photoFundamental freedoms in Turkey have been restricted under the state of emergency that has been in place since mid-2016, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has said, reiterating that he is certain the “No” votes won in the April 16 referendum.
“The pressure on labor has been increasing day by day. The basic rights and freedoms are being destroyed by the hands of state of emergency rules,” Kılıçdaroğlu said in a written statement on May 1.
Turkey imposed a state of emergency in the wake of last year’s failed coup attempt in July and extended it since then in a bid to clear the state from members and sympathizers of the Gülen movement, which is widely believed to have been behind the attempted takeover.
The government issued scores of decrees under the state of emergency, as some were not directly targeted against Gülenists, but also members of other outlawed groups and trade unions as well as academics.
Criticizing the restrictions on the conditions of working life and liberty of organization and assembly, Kılıçdaroğlu underlined the increase in unemployment rate and work-related accidents. “Poverty has taken root, the income injustice and inequality are becoming a fate of our country,” he added.
“Despite these negative circumstances, the picture revealed by the April 16 referendum indicated that the solidarity and togetherness of all the segments of the society that defends democracy, freedom and their collective action against injustice and tyranny will triumph,” he stated.
Gov’t scared of ‘No’
“The government is scared of the power of the ‘No’ vote,” Kılıçdaroğlu said in an interview with daily Cumhuriyet.
“We have experienced an unlawful, illegitimate process. The whole world knows that. Despite all the obstacles, they could not manage to oppress [‘no’ votes], under 49 percent of the votes,” he said.
He also criticized new judge appointments, in which 800 of the 900 judges appointed had connections to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
“The latest appointment of the AKP judges to the judiciary is one of the basic decisions that provide the politicization of the judiciary. This means the institutionalization of the unlawful logic of the Supreme Election Board [YSK] in all segments of the judiciary,” he said.
CHP to convene general assembly
Kılıçdaroğlu said his party will convene a general assembly in the new era, adding that the CHP will continue its initial strategy to “bring all segments of the society together.”
“We will continue to embrace all parts of the society, to tell the virtues of democracy. In our democracy tradition, free criticism, recommendations and democratic elections are our fundamental values,” he stated.
“There may be new candidates for leadership. First, the city and then the provincial heads will be elected in democratic manners,” he stated.