Main opposition leader makes midnight call to president over Gezi Park protests

Main opposition leader makes midnight call to president over Gezi Park protests

Main opposition leader makes midnight call to president over Gezi Park protests

File photo shows main opposition party leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu. DAILY NEWS photo / Selahattin SÖNMEZ

The main opposition party is planning to turn the Gezi Park protests and the government’s anti-democratic stance regarding peaceful demonstrators into an international issue with vows to take police brutality to the European human rights court.

The Republican People’s Party (CHP) is examining the legality of such a move, its spokesperson Haluk Koç told reporters during the social democrat party’s Central Decision-Making Council meeting June 12. It was the second MYK meeting June 12 following the first one, which took place in an extraordinary session at 1:30 a.m.

CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu called President Abdullah Gül to initiate for a meeting with leaders of the political parties in a bid to defuse the tension, a move later rejected by the president. “It is up to the president. We have made a proposal within the legitimate framework,” Koç said without elaborating further.

Koç dismissed the possibility of a meeting between Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Kılıçdaroğlu on the grounds that the prime minister had lost his legitimacy.

One of the decisions taken at the meeting was to follow the incidents at Gezi Park and Taksim Square first hand by rotating lawmakers to stand with protestors. Deputy leaders of the party will continue to keep in touch with local governors and police department officials in Istanbul to ease the conditions of the protestors.

Euro court way

As part of plans to make the international community better informed on the ongoing process, Kılıçdaroğlu is expected to hold a press conference with representatives of foreign media in Turkey over the weekend. In addition, the CHP is planning to hold a comprehensive meeting with ambassadors of foreign countries on June 10.

Süheyl Batum, Eskişehir deputy of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) pledged to take the allegations of police brutality committed during the Gezi protests to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), if a remedy is not found through domestic means.

Batum said the behavior of the police at the Gezi protests was inhumane treatment going beyond disproportionate use of force and if their criminal complaint on that fails to obtain results, they will refer the issue to the ECHR, in a press conference held with the participation of some CHP deputies on June 12.

“If the prime minister, some chiefs of police and mayors try to overlook this inhumane treatment, try even to make them seem legitimate, we will definitely bring them to account. We will press charges. If they do not do anything with the criminal complaints, we will press charges against the interior minister. If the interior minister does not do anything, we will carry [it] directly to the ECHR. Compiling all the videos, photographs, examples of criminal complaints for the ECHR, we will send them against the interior minister of the Turkish Republic.”

Undercover police

Batum also criticized the presence of undercover police among protesters. “Individuals that intervene without any badge, symbol, sign, vest to show that they are policemen, are definitely illegal. At most, these are, in their terms, those who think the protests are done against the party and gave themselves the duty, the white dogs. I am saying this very clearly,” Batum said, once more pointing at “white dogs,” making a reference to the abbreviation of the Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) name, since “ak” means white.

Batum said Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is to blame for police brutality and argued that any prime minister would have resigned in a democratic country, alongside the interior minister, chief of police and mayor.

CHP Istanbul Deputy Mahmut Tanal said May 9 in Ankara that he had filed a criminal report against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan because he “aroused the people to hatred and hostility, slandered and insulted them.”