Turkey’s main opposition party under institutional attack: CHP deputy chair
Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Deputy Chair Veli Ağbaba has said the party is under “institutional attack,” with CHP head Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu and others threatened with imprisonment.
“The CHP and its officials, particularly party leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, are facing a threat,” Ağbaba said during a party meeting in the eastern province of Malatya on Dec. 3.
Referring to motions sent to parliament accusing the party of cooperating with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the Fethullah Gülen Terror Organization (FETÖ) and Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), Ağbaba said these motions came after Kılıçdaroğlu unveiled documents purporting to reveal money transfers between the relatives of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and a one-sterling company based in tax haven Isle of Man.
“We are facing an institutional attack,” he said, vowing that the party would do what it could to fight for justice “if they touch Kılıçdaroğlu.”
“They want to silence us. They could intervene to shut the party down. They could even go after our leader,” he added.
Erdoğan on Dec. 3 accused the U.S. of trying to “discredit Turkey” for “not submitting to scenarios,” in reference to the New York trial of former Halkbank deputy general manager Hakan Atilla over evading U.S. sanctions on Iran.
“They [the U.S.] are trying to punish, judge and discredit us because we did not submit to those scenarios,” Erdoğan said in the eastern province of Ağrı earlier on Dec. 3.
“They have stirred up the PKK [outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party] for this. They then put FETÖ to the fore and then sent Deash [Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant – ISIL] to our country. Now they are using the person who is the head of the main opposition, also known as the main treason party, for the same purpose,” he added.
The Prime Ministry on Nov. 29 submitted 121 motions to lift the immunities of 60 lawmakers, including Kılıçdaroğlu and others from the CHP and the Peoples’ Demorcratic Party (HDP), the day after Kılıçdaroğlu brandished banking documents at the CHP’s parliamentary group meeting.
The documents detailed the financial dealings of Erdoğan’s brother-in-law Ziya İlgen, his brother Mustafa Erdoğan, his son Burak Erdoğan, the latter’s father-in-law Osman Ketenci, and businessman Mustafa Gündoğan, as well as the dates and amounts of transactions made to the company called Bellway Ltd. in 2011 and 2012.
Erdoğan rejected the allegations, vowing on Nov. 30 that Kılıçdaroğlu would “pay the price” for the move.