People will defend own neighborhood against defenders of Molotov cocktails: Turkish PM
AA PhotoPrime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has threatened oppositional parties over their criticism of a controversial security bill, saying people will defend their own neighborhoods and cities against those who “support the use of Molotov cocktails.”
“[The main opposition leader] should not dare call on the people to resist. He will be crushed under this resistance. Then the whole people will stand up and defend their own streets and cities against those who support the Molotov cocktail,” Davutoğlu said in an address to his party’s mayors Feb. 19 in Ankara.
Davutoğlu made the call just hours before parliament was set to again debate a controversial security bill that caused a major fracas in the General Assembly late Feb. 17, leaving five parliamentarians injured. The three opposition parties have been united against the bill, describing it as a major step toward turning Turkey into a police state.
“Calling people to resistance is not among the duties of the main opposition leader. We are here if you will conduct your struggle within the boundaries of the law. But if you step out of these boundaries … the necessary response will be given to those throwing Molotov cocktails and covering their faces without discrimination, even if it’s you,” Davutoğlu said.
Claiming the three opposition parties were defending the use of Molotov cocktails – which are not “much different than hand grenades” – Davutoğlu said: “Defending the Molotov cocktail cannot be the job of political parties. It might be the job of terror organizations, or pro-violence groups, but not of political parties.”
The prime minister explained once again that the Turkish police will be given the same authority as the French police and will be able to hold suspected persons in detention for 24 hours before reporting them to the prosecutor.
“Therefore how can they describe this move as equal to authoritarianism? If it’s so, then all European countries are police state,” he said.
Opponents of the bill, however, have said Turkey is merely cherry-picking legislation from European countries and has not drafted any measures to ensure oversight of police actions, unlike in European countries.
Three neighboring countries, Syria, Iraq and Ukraine, are experiencing a civil war, so Turkey’s security needs are more urgent and vital compared to European countries, Davutoğlu said, underlining once again that the package was in fact made to protect freedoms and democracy.
The prime minister described the three parties’ adoption of the same position toward the bill as an interesting coalition and stressed that “Seeing the HDP [the Peoples’ Democratic Party] and the MHP [Nationalist Movement Party] on the same line tells us that we are on the right path.”
The government will not tolerate any group burning Turkish cities and turning Diyarbakır into Aleppo, Davutoğlu said. “Now we are giving a chance to the opposition. They had better outline which articles they are disturbed by. We are ready to listen to them. But it has been two weeks since we submitted the draft. Have you heard about a specific proposal? No.”
CHP: AKP has no spirit of democracy
The leader of the CHP, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, accused the government of not being able to embrace democracy and freedom of speech and thought. “They can’t tolerate thoughts. They cannot tolerate the expression of thoughts,” he told reporters, accusing the AKP of attacking CHP lawmakers in parliament.
“They are trying to impose their thoughts by force. They are trying to pass laws with pressure. Can there be a parliament like that?” he asked.