Security bill fully complies with EU norms, Davutoğlu pledges, challenging opposition
DHA PhotoThe Turkish government’s contentious new security bill is fully in line with EU norms and universal values, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has stressed, vowing to pass the law despite delays and criticizing the opposition for trying to “drag Turkey into chaos.”
“The three opposition parties - backed by the real opposition, the parallel opposition in Pennsylvania - are opting to drag Turkey into chaos,” Davutoğlu told his parliamentary group on Feb. 10, referring to the followers of Pennsylvania-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen.
Defending the security bill that has been submitted to parliament but twice delayed until next week, he said the only way to guarantee freedoms was to “reinforce security,” saying developments in Syria and Iraq proved this point. He also recalled the street unrest on Oct. 6-7 last year, when thousands protested in southeastern Turkey over the government’s perceived inaction over the advance of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) on the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobane across the border.
“I challenge once again from here. Show us just one article that violates EU standards. Show just one clause that is against universal democratic standards. They can’t. Because we have studied each and every clause in detail. We have shown sensitivity in order not to deviate from universal standards,” Davutoğlu said.
The prime minister particularly singled out main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) head Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, who has called on people to “resist” the security bill.
“You are a democratic party. You are the leader of the party. Why don’t you call on the people to go to the polls, instead of calling on them to resist? The polls are in three months. If you believe in yourself, go and ask for votes from the people by promising to change this security bill if you come to power,” he said.
Amid delays in the debating of the bill at parliament, as well as the opposition’s vow to stall parliament for weeks in order to halt it, Davutoğlu said the break would be a good opportunity for the opposition to reconsider its position. “We have not given up. This bill will be passed. It will be passed,” he pledged.
Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ has also vowed that the bill would be legislated before parliament goes to recess ahead of the June 7 elections.
New York Times article a ‘signal flare’
Meanwhile, Davutoğlu also touched on the New York Times’ publishing of an editorial penned by Fethullah Gülen last week that was full of criticism against the government, including on the issue of minorities’ rights.
“Why is this? Because April 24 is looming. The lobbies in Washington are moving. The Armenian lobby is moving, the Jewish lobby has already been moving. They will stay mobilized for as long as the Palestine issue is there. We will keep saying ‘We will continue to stand against any kind of lobbying groups as long as Palestine is under occupation,’” he said.