Turkey’s political parties in solidarity after coup attempt
ANKARAParliament’s general assembly held an extraordinary session on the afternoon of July 16 and the four political parties represented at Turkey’s legislative body issued a joint declaration condemning the failed military coup attempt and underscoring solidarity against threats to the democracy.
Gathering under the leadership of Parliament Speaker İsmail Kahraman, the general assembly witnessed rare unity in which leaders and representatives of the four political parties all firmly condemned the military’s coup attempt on July 15.
“What is necessary will be done and [the perpetrators] will be punished in the heaviest manner,” Parliament Speaker İsmail Kahraman said in a speech opening the session.
Kahraman said a joint declaration by all four parties in parliament - the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) - would be read out after the speeches of the parties’ chairs.
“I thank our president and commander in chief Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for his firm stance. I thank our political parties and parliamentary groups. I kiss the foreheads of our police ... I thank those Turkish Armed Forces officers who love their country. I thank our imams who read out calls to prayer and statements until the morning. I thank brotherly and friendly nations,” Prime Minister Binali Yıldrım said at the session.
Yıldırım added that “parliament deserves the most praise after the people,” and saluted each deputy “without making any party distinction.”
“Our parliament has lived its most difficult, most troubled night since April 23, 1920,” he said, referring to the parliament’s foundation date and adding that parliament was not even bombed during the Sept. 12, 1980 miltary coup.
“Today is a day when the AKP, the CHP, the MHP, the HDP and all parties objected to coup. Today is a milestone. I believe it is also the beginning of a new period,” said Yıldırım, adding that members of these parties had together presented a united front and vowing to carry this solidarity to the future.
CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu then spoke at parliament’s rostrum, beginning his speech by recalling that the Turkish Republic was established by “pain, blood and tears.”
“What we went through yesterday was a direct coup attempt. It was an open attack on our republic and our collective history. Yet we have articles in our constitution that cannot be changed. Defending democracy, the superiority of law, and secularism should be a duty of all of us,” said Kılçdaroğlu, condemning what he called an “attack on democracy.”
The CHP head also stressed that the parliamentary system had prevented the coup attempt and it was the duty of all to protect this “legacy.”
MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli also thanked every citizen in the country and said “the national will was attacked openly.”
“The bombing of the Turkish Parliament is a betrayal that horrified all of us ... What happened last night was actually a terrorist attack,” said Bahçeli, stressing the unity of Turkey’s “one state, one flag, one language, one land, and one nation.”
Speaking on behalf of the HDP, İdris Baluken condemned the “coup mentality,” emphasizing that “military, bureaucratic and civil coup attempts cannot have a single legitimate reason.”
Baluken also said the “conflict environment” that emerged after the June 7 general election paved the way for this coup attempt, which “cannot be ended without also the end of the path opening way to coups.”
“Today there is a crucial responsibility on the shoulders of the political institutions, with the government being in the leading position,” he said, adding that his party has always highlighted the possibility of seeing such terrible events “in Cizre, Silvan, Ankara, the Aegean region, and the Black Sea region” if democratic politics are not to be stressed.
Following the speeches of the four party chairs and members, the joint statement was read out by Parliament Speaker İsmail Kahraman.
“We, the groups of four parties, strongly condemn the coup attempt against our mighty nation, the national will, the state, lawmakers, and parliament,” the statement read.
“The Turkish Parliament is on duty as one heart,” it read, while also describing the statement itself as “historic” in terms of highlighting unity.
“Despite our political differences, we all are on the side of the national will. We embrace it and we will embrace it forever with all our lawmakers and organizations,” the statement added.
“Determination in parliament will also contribute to the development and settlement of democracy in Turkey,” it also said.