CHP vows to ‘stop counter-coup’ in Turkish parliament

CHP vows to ‘stop counter-coup’ in Turkish parliament

On the eve of the opening of the Turkish parliament’s new legislative year, social democratic main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said on Sept. 30 that his party would not let President Tayyip Erdoğan and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Parti) capitalize on the July 15 bloody coup attempt by silencing all opposition voices and regressing democratic rights instead of enhancing them.

“We are waiting for parliament to open and the commission established to research the causes of the July 15 coup attempt to start working. We have a lot of question marks in our minds. We are against the extension of the state of emergency and will do our best to end it as soon as possible, despite the AK Parti domination in parliament,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.

The opposition leader criticized Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım, saying that he had promised him after the coup attempt that they needed the state of emergency for a short period of time, “not even 90 days, not even 60 days,” but now was moving to extend it for three more months, while Erdoğan was talking about extending it up to a year. 

During a press conference for foreign news organizations in Turkey held in Istanbul, Kılıçdaroğlu accused Erdoğan and the government of taking the opportunity of the post-July 15 unity atmosphere and the state of emergency to “take steps that they cannot take under normal circumstances.” Kılıçdaroğlu claimed Turkey was in a process of staging “a coup against democracy, pretending to save democracy from a failed coup, a counter-coup.” Kılıçdaroğlu continued: “Today, the ruling party can shut down any newspaper it wants, push any businessmen it wants to bankruptcy or seize their assets under emergency laws. It seems that the government is attracted to this uncontrolled form of power. This is a serious threat to democracy. What will we do against this situation? We will fight, but the fight will be in parliament, not on the streets, that would be wrong.”

The CHP leader said they were looking for the parliamentary commission for the July 15 coup attempt to begin its works in order to learn the political dimensions and connections of the attempt.

Responding to a question, Kılıçdaroğlu said the Fethullah Gülen movement was involved in the coup attempt against Turkey’s parliamentarian democracy and acts of terror. “Those who are involved in this action can be prosecuted, detained and arrested there is nothing wrong with that. But the prosecutions, arrests, suspensions and dismissals from jobs have seemingly gone beyond the coup probe and Gülenists who are suspected to be involved in that. For example more than 10,000 leftist teachers were dismissed from their jobs. It turns into silencing all opposing voices. That is what we object to.”

Kılıçdaroğlu vowed to be a strong opposition in the new legislation year, which is to start today on Oct. 1.