Kılıçdaroğlu calls on people to watch parliament sessions on TV to ‘witness CHP’s fight to save Turkey’
TEKİRDAĞThe chair of Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, has called on people to follow parliamentary sessions starting on Jan. 9, the date when charter amendment discussions will begin in the general assembly, as they will “witness the fight by the CHP to save Turkey.”
Speaking during an event in the northwestern province of Tekirdağ on Jan. 5, Kılıçdaroğlu reiterated his stance against the charter amendment that passed the commission in which it was first drafted. “Let me say this clearly. This charter change is a betrayal to Turkish history. And the CHP is the only party that is not in betrayal,” said the CHP leader, rebuking the support given to the draft by the opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).
“If there are voters in the parliament who vote ‘yes’ to this charter change, they will betray the parliament and Turkish history. Period. What I want from you is to watch TV as of Monday [Jan. 9]. You will see our fight. If there is a price to be paid, CHP deputies will pay that price first in parliament,” said Kılıçdaroğlu.
Parliament’s constitutional committee approved an 18-article amendment package on Dec. 30, 2016, after nine days of marathon talks, accompanied by tense sessions and a brawl between ruling and opposition lawmakers.
“Democracy, human rights, the love of the flag and the love for the land do not have leftist or rightists. The constitution has to be the common book of all of us. All citizens should be able to claim the constitution as their own when they pick up its pamphlet,” said Kılıçdaroğlu.
The package grants broad executive power to the president by transferring all authorities of the prime ministry and the cabinet to the president while limiting parliament’s supervisory and legislative authorities.
The proposal restricts the functions and powers of parliament, while the principle that stipulates the legislature’s duty to supervise the executive has been removed from the constitution. Parliament will only have authority to acquire and monitor information through general discussions, parliamentary investigations and written questions.
Meanwhile, the CHP has beefed up security at its headquarters in Ankara amid government warnings to opposition party leaders that they might be targeted in an attack or an assassination by terrorist groups. At the same time, the government offered to provide armored vehicle to leaders. Kılıçdaroğlu accepted the offer.
The security measures included the replacement of X-ray devices in the building, conducting checks on all vehicles entering the parking lot of the building, and increasing the number of police and private guards securing the building.
Concerning the rising security measures, CHP deputy chair Tekin Bingöl said it needed to be determined how Turkey came to this point, referring to rising deadly terror attacks gripping the country.