No witch hunt in democracies: Main opposition CHP leader

No witch hunt in democracies: Main opposition CHP leader

No witch hunt in democracies: Main opposition CHP leader

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Democracies champion principles of the rule of law and human rights and do not embrace “witch hunts,” the leader of the main opposition has said.

Main opposition leader Republican People’s Party (CHP) Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu’s words come as obvious criticism toward the prime minister, who vowed to fight against members of the pro-Gülen community inside the state, even though it would be considered a witch hunt.

“There are no witch hunts in democracies. Democracies include the concept of the rule of law. If there is a criminal, you take him or her to court with evidence,” Kılıçdaroğlu told reporters following his weekly parliamentary group meeting. Kılıçdaroğlu made this comment upon a question about Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s statement on May 11 that “If moving those who betrayed this country from one place to another is a ‘witch hunt,’ then yes, we’ll perform this witch hunt.”

Crimes are investigated adequately and within the rule of law under normal democracies, Kılıçdaroğlu said, adding “But [this attitude of], ‘I’ll do whatever I’d like to do; I can arrest whoever I want’ is not the right behavior. This can’t be done in democracies.”

‘We want first class democracy’

Underlining that the regimes of the 21st century favor the principle of separation of powers instead of an absolute power used by a single person with the media regarded as the fourth power after legislation, executive and judiciary, Kılıçdaroğlu said Turkey had re-entered the outdated “absolute power” period. “Nations that have been ruled by anger instead of wisdom have paid heavy costs. In 21st century Turkey, we do not want to pay such heavy costs. We want to be a first class democracy of the 21st century. The people of this country do not deserve third class democracy,” he said.    

Recalling Erdoğan’s walkout of the ceremony on the occasion of the 146th anniversary of the Council of State as a reaction to the critical address of Metin Feyzioğlu, the head of the bar association, Kılıçdaroğlu said “A politician should listen to all critical voices. That criticism may not be right and be disturbing. But we’ll use our mind, we’ll be patient and we’ll listen carefully. We’ll draw lessons from all criticisms. You can be a statesman identity if you can handle it.”

‘Erdoğan a fake dictator’

“Why be afraid of words? They are afraid of thoughts. They even said ‘Books are sometimes more dangerous than bombs,’” Kılıçdaroğlu said and harshly slammed Erdoğan by saying “He cannot tolerate those who express their own views. He is a fake dictator.”