Probe launched into Akit TV reporter over CHP leader execution remarks
An investigation has been launched into a pro-government media outlet reporter after he claimed that some members of society wanted the “execution” of the leader of Turkey’s main opposition party.
On a television program broadcast on Akit TV news channel, Özmen said: “The public wants the execution of Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu,” the leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP).
The Ankara Public Prosecutor’s Office launched an investigation after Özmen said the people of Turkey demanded some figures to face the death penalty, including Kılıçdaroğlu.
“Even on this day, the Turkish public opinion wants some people to get executed and looks forward to it. These are the jailed leader of the outlawed PKK, Abdullah Öcalan, and the leader of FETÖ, Fetullah Gülen,” said Özmen on March 19 on the television program in the capital Ankara’s infamous Ulucanlar Prison, now a museum, where many intellectuals were jailed and leftist revolutionaries, including Deniz Gezmiş, were executed.
“I believe that the Turkish public also wants Kılıçdaroğlu, who is party to the terrorist organizations PKK and FETÖ, to be hanged from the gallows. Of course, this is our opinion, the decision is left to the public,” he added.
In a written statement, the prosecutor’s office said the reporter is facing charges of threatening an individual with death, as stated in Article 106 of the Turkish Criminal Law, which says that anyone who threatens another person with death will be imprisoned up to two years.
Meanwhile, the CHP head vowed on March 20 to vote “yes” in the event of any legislation on the death penalty if parliament passes it, saying he was not afraid of Özmen’s comments.
“They are saying that ‘We should execute Kılıçdaroğlu’. It was the PKK who attacked me, now someone else from the same front is attacking me. No matter who comes for me, I will hold my ground of great Turkey and will not stray from the path of [modern Turkey’s founder Mustafa Kemal] Atatürk,” said Kılıçdaroğlu at a rally in Ankara’s Keçiören district.
“Supposedly they will execute me and I will get frightened. They will allegedly impose a law for my execution. You are brave if you do not pass this legislation, and I am vile if I do not vote ‘yes’ for such legislation,” he added.
Meanwhile, Akit TV has said that Özmen’s statements were “presumptuous.”
The media outlet also stressed that necessary measures will be taken concerning Özmen.
Turkey abolished the death penalty in 2004 under reforms aimed at EU membership. Since then, however, the ruling party has sporadically said it could bring back capital punishment.