Gov’t obliged to seek free media’s support to avert coup: CHP leader
AA photoThose who imposed all sorts of pressure on the media had to reverse course and seek its support in order to quash the July 15 coup attempt, the main opposition party leader has said, adding all of Turkey owed a debt of gratitude to the free press.
“The free media has become the voice of democracy and freedoms. Thus, we all owe a debt of gratitude to the media,” Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), told his parliamentary group on July 19.
“The history of the ‘July 15 coup’ will surely be written one day. Those who will write it will underline one thing: The media that has been trying to protect its freedom despite all pressure appeared as the most important institution in the people’s use of its right to resist,” he said.
Kılıçdaroğlu’s statement was an unveiled reference to the pressure imposed by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government on independent media outlets and individual journalists.
Recalling that Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım thanked the CHP for giving its support to the government against the plotters, Kılıçdaroğlu said, “No need for thanks. This is our duty. What will we defend if we don’t defend democracy and the republic?”
The CHP leader underlined they have been urging the government to protect parliamentary democracy and pro-freedom democracy, stating, “Why have we been saying this? In order to prevent this kind of incident.”
The coup attempt made clear once again that everybody must defend democracy and should not remember it only during the elections, Kılıçdaroğlu said. “That’s why we insistently underline that Turkey deserves a first class democracy, not a third class one.”
The right to resist was also part of democracies, as the Turkish people showed on July 15, he stressed. “When I first mentioned about the right to resist, certain people refuted it. This is the right to resist. Just like in all contemporary democracies, people will take to the streets when somebodies spoil democracy and the rule of law.”