Halt to democracy no way to fight coups: CHP
AA photoThe Republican People’s Party (CHP) has called on the government to continue its fight against coup plotters within the boundaries of democracy, human rights and the rule of law as halting democracy would not help prevent future coups, in reaction to the growing number of dissidents who have been either dismissed or detained after the failed July 15 coup.
“This process is no different than the period of Sept. 12 [coup d’état]. On what grounds are you jailing Aslı Erdoğan? She is a world renowned writer. I told Mr. Binali [Yıldırım, the prime minister]: ‘If you imprison all these journalists and academics you cannot convince anybody that there was a coup in Turkey,” Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said yesterday.
“On the contrary, they will think the AKP [Justice and Development Party] staged the coup and jailed intellectuals, teachers, students,” he told his lawmakers on Oct. 25.
Both Turkey and France declared state of emergency but the Turkish implementation created around 1 million victims due to its undemocratic nature, Kılıçdaroğlu said, reflecting on his conversation with French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault who was in Ankara on Oct. 24. “Not a single person suffered from state of emergency in France while 1 million suffered in Turkey,” he said.
Kılıçdaroğlu also criticized the government for using July 15 as an opportunity to shift to a presidential system to meet President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s expectations, recalling Yıldırım’s statement that “The door for the presidential system was opened on the night of July 15.”
“This statement is treason to our martyrs and veterans who have been targeted by bullets and who stood in front of tanks. Our martyred NCO Ömer Halisdemir did not sacrifice his life for Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to become the executive-president,” he said.
Blaming the AKP for seeing July 15 as opportunity for further strengthening his position and accumulating more power in one man’s hands, Kılıçdaroğlu said: “This was Hitler’s aim in 1940s. He soaked Europe and the world in blood. You better give it up. You should not have such intention if you have respect for this country and the republic.”
Let’s make him king
Kılıçdaroğlu once again slammed Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) head Devlet Bahçeli, as the row over Bahçeli’s suggested support to shift Turkey to a presidential system deepens.
“I want to make a call to Mr. Bahçeli from here: Come and let’s make this person the king. Let’s all get rid of this [problem]. Let’s also allocate him his own 24-hour live TV so he can speak day and night,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.
The CHP leader made the comments shortly after Bahçeli again suggested that the MHP could support the government’s constitutional draft for a presidential system.
Bahçeli had revived the discussion on the adoption of presidential system three weeks ago by signaling that his 40-seat party would back a drafted constitutional amendment “if it takes the MHP’s sensitivities into account.” The MHP’s support is required for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) to cross the 330-seat threshold to take the new charter to the public vote. “I ask you now. What will we do if Erdoğan does not abide by the new constitution in the future? Are we going to change it again? There cannot be a constitution written only for one person,” he said.