Media ban swifter than ambulances: CHP leader

Media ban swifter than ambulances: CHP leader

Media ban swifter than ambulances: CHP leader

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Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has chastised Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) for being incapable of governing the country, citing the swift imposition of a broadcast ban following the Jan. 12 suicide bomb attack in Istanbul as evidence of such incapability.

“No buts about it, from now on, 78 million citizens in Turkey need to know this truth: This government cannot govern Turkey. It is not able to govern. The 21st century’s Turkey cannot be ruled with third-degree staff,” Kılıçdaroğlu said on Jan. 12, addressing a parliamentary group meeting of his party shortly after the deadly attack in Sultanahmet.

“We have so far remained silent and we have been patient. Now we have run out of patience; you will go if you are not able to rule, and those who are able to rule will take over. That’s what they have been doing, they are imposing a broadcasting ban even before ambulances arrive on the scene,” he said, referring to the fact the authorities imposed a broadcast ban on reporting on the attack, prompting television channels to halt live broadcasting from the scene although factual commentaries continued.

“A suicide bomb explodes in a place like Istanbul, at the heart of tourism in Sultanahmet, and you have no measures taken. Then what do you do? You impose a ban on reporting even before ambulances arrive [on the scene]. This is a disaster. This government is not able to rule the country,” he reiterated.

Taking aim at the AKP’s foreign policy, Kılıçdaroğlu recalled that his party has long warned the government to not drag the country into the Middle East quagmire. Suicide bombings have been traditionally seen in the Middle East, he said.

Hours after the attack Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu had not yet made a statement, while President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced that a Syria-linked suicide bomber was believed to be behind the blast in Istanbul which killed at least 10 people, and wounded some 15 others.

Kılıçdaroğlu criticized the absence of a statement by Davutoğlu and added: “Let a governor speak, let a prime minister speak. But again, our so-called dictator speaks. Why would you speak? This country has a prime minister. Let the prime minister speak. Let us learn about the details [of the attack].”

Earlier in the day, Kılıçdaroğlu condemned the attack in a message posted to his official Twitter account. 

“Those who aimed at our country with the treacherous attack in Sultanahmet will never reach their goal. I condemn terror and those who get nourished by terror with hatred,” he said.