Turkey’s main opposition leader decries appointment of trustees to big companies
Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, leader of Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), delivers a speech during a party meeting in Ankara on September 30, 2015. AFP PhotoMain opposition leader of Turkey is concerned about the negative impact of appointing trustees to private companies in terms of democracy and economic development and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s personal hostility towards the movement of U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen.
“By unlawfully appointing trustees to holdings that employ hundreds of people, the state is adding yet another failing grade on our country’s report card of democracy,” Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the leader of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), said late Nov. 19, on his Twitter account.
Earlier in the week, acting on a court order, Turkish authorities appointed a total of seven trustees to 19 companies, a foundation and an association of Kaynak Holding close to the U.S.-based preacher Fethullah Gülen, an ally-turned-foe of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
“As the world is putting its big companies on a pedestal for economic development, Turkey is, however, appointing trustees with handsome salaries,” Kılıçdaroğlu said. “By saying that ‘They betrayed me,’ Erdoğan is proving that he has a personal enmity. Yet, judiciary is not about revenge but about justice,” he said.
Erdoğan recently said he was “betrayed” by the Gülen movement, vowing to press ahead with the fight against what he refers to as the “parallel structure.”
“I should say this very clearly: They know me very well personally, but I know them too. They have betrayed Tayyip Erdoğan. My struggle is to take whatever belongs to my people from them,” Erdoğan said in an interview broadcast on A Haber TV station late on Nov. 18.
His statement came on the same day as the court move against Kaynak Holding, a move that comes only three weeks after Koza Ipek Holding and its media groups, another group of companies with ties to Gülen, were also seized by judicial order. Koza Ipek Holding and Kaynak Holding, which have diverse interests across sectors, are accused of financing the Gülen movement, which the government this year has named as an internal “terrorist organization.”