Justice cannot stem from revenge, CHP leader says

Justice cannot stem from revenge, CHP leader says

Justice cannot stem from revenge, CHP leader says

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Turkey’s main opposition leader has warned both the prime minister and his government that justice should not be used as a tool to take revenge on certain groups.

“We don’t believe that it is right for Prime Minister [Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan to launch certain operations on his instructions. Justice cannot be found through grudges,” main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said late July 23 during a visit to the southwestern province of Isparta.

His remarks came in response to a correspondent’s question concerning the detention of dozens of officers accused of “spying” or of illegally wiretapping government officials, including Erdoğan and Turkey’s spy chief, Hakan Fidan.

“You engaged in corruption and they revealed it,” Kılıçdaroğlu said, apparently addressing Erdoğan and referring to huge graft probes launched on Dec. 17 and on Dec. 25, 2013, and exposing governmental officials’ involvement in corruption and bribery.

“It is their duty. If they had not revealed it, then they would have committed a crime,” Kılıçdaroğlu said of the probes.

“If these operations are aimed at covering up the Dec. 17 and the Dec. 25 operations or if they are aimed at taking revenge for those operations, this is completely wrong. In which democracy is the one who is corrupt not called to account and the one who captures the corrupt ones called to account? Exactly on the contrary, politicians have the responsibility to give an account,” he added.

Some of the detained officers were involved in the corruption probes launched in December that targeted four government ministers.

Erdoğan has long claimed the corruption allegations that forced the ministers to resign were part of a coup attempt by followers of Fethullah Gülen, a moderate Islamist preacher living in the United States. Many of the officers involved in the corruption probe were removed from posts in a government purge earlier this year.

Erdoğan also accuses the Gülen movement of being behind a series of leaked recordings posted on the Internet intimating corruption by the prime minister and his family members. He has vowed to go after the Gülen movement and has said he would also seek Gülen’s extradition from the U.S.