Gov’t right on Germany but acting with double standards: Main opposition

Gov’t right on Germany but acting with double standards: Main opposition

Gov’t right on Germany but acting with double standards: Main opposition

AA photo

Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has criticized both Germany for canceling Turkish ministers’ meetings in the country and the government for pursuing “double standards.” 

The CHP defends Turkish ministers’ right to campaign in Germany ahead of a Turkish referendum, he said, but criticized the government for its stance on Turkish politicians from Bulgaria. 

“You are criticizing Germany. But you are doing worse yourself. There should not be any double standards in politics,” he said on March 7, giving an example of Bulgarian-Turkish politician Erdinç İsmail Hayrullah, the leader of the Bulgaria-Turkey Friendship Group, who was denied entrance to Turkey to make campaign for his party in Bulgaria. 

Kılıçdaroğlu first called on President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım to reveal the reasons why Hayrullah was denied entry to Turkey before accusing the government of “polarizing Turkish citizens in Bulgaria as they do in Turkey.”

“They have formed the Friend Party (DP) as opposed to the Rights and Freedoms Party (HÖH). The ones from the DP can enter Turkey, but HÖH cannot enter Turkey. Can there be such a double standard?” he said, suggesting that the ruling party was supporting the former. 

‘We say ‘no’ to the charter for the prime minister’

Kılıçdaroğlu also criticized the constitutional amendment charter that will usher in an executive presidential system. 

Referring to the concerns raised by the Justice and Development Party (AKP), Kılıçdaroğlu said there would not be any problem in the legitimacy of the president if the public rejects the constitutional amendment.

“They say the CHP will question the legitimacy of the presidency if the ‘no’ vote prevails. If he was appointed with the vote of the nation, there will not be any discussion of legitimacy,” Kılıçdaroğlu said. 

“He has come with the votes of the public. The public decision is the most welcomed,” he said.  

“If there will be a ‘no’ vote, Mr. President will fulfill his duty until his term is over,” he said. 

Kılıçdaroğlu listed the CHP’s prediction of the consequences of a “no” vote, while opposing the AKP’s arguments on the necessity of the constitutional change. 

“The prime minister will stay in his place. Well actually, we are sort of working for Binali Yıldırım. The prime minister will stay, the ministers will stay. All of them will perform their duties – unless he is dismissed by a ‘palace coup,’ of course,” he said, referring to the dismissal of former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu as a “coup de palace.”

His comments came after presidential spokesperson İlnur Çevik said a “no” vote would cause further chaos in society. 

Recalling the June 7, 2015, elections when the AKP could not gain enough votes to form the government and the pro-Kurdish People’s Democracy Party (HDP) passed the 10 percent threshold, Çevik wrote “To those who will vote ‘no’: You will long for the chaos and instability in Turkey after June 7” on his official Twitter account on March 7. 

Perceiving Çevik’s comments as a threat, Kılıçdaroğlu said there would be no more fights if the “no” side prevails. 

“If there is a ‘no,’ Turkey will have a sigh of relief; there will be no polarization and fights,” he said, adding that the constitutional charter had caused polarization within society since the polls indicate a neck-and-neck race.