Turkish main opposition CHP blasts ‘oppression’ to defame municipalities
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
CHP’s Günaydın speaks at a press conference yesterday. Günaydın said the government had given the go-ahead for 51 percent of the requests for probes into CHP municipalities and only for 25 percent of those against municipalities run by the AKP. AA photoThe main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has denounced a wave of investigations targeting its municipalities as a bullying campaign to discredit the party and paralyze its local administrations ahead of the next municipal elections.
“A policy of systematic oppression, bullying and obstruction is under way. If you are a member of a CHP municipality, you can be arrested at any time, face charges carrying up to 400 years in jail and see your work thwarted,” CHP deputy chairman Gökhan Günaydın told a press conference yesterday.
“Their clock is set for 2014. They hope to render the CHP municipalities dysfunctional and then take advantage [in the elections],” he said.
The CHP municipalities are subjected to pre-dawn police raids, accompanied by pro-government media, in a manner that is reminiscent of reality shows.
Günaydın said the government had given the go-ahead for 51 percent of the requests for investigation into CHP local administrations and only for 25 percent of those against municipalities run by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
“The CHP municipalities are subjected to pre-dawn police raids, accompanied by pro-government media, in a manner that is reminiscent of reality shows. Why do the authorities who conduct those raids remain silent about the allegations concerning the Ankara Municipality?” he asked.
Speaking in the northwestern city of Yalova at the weekend, Interior Minister İdris Naim Şahin denied that the CHP local administrations were deliberately targeted. “There are at least as many investigations into AKP municipalities, but people follow their own more closely. As a ruling party, we don’t even have someone to complain to,” Şahin said.
Convention set for Feb 26
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) will hold an extraordinary convention on Feb 26 to discuss amendments to the party statute demanded by the intra-party opposition, officials announced at the weekend.
CHP chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu was forced to schedule the gathering after his opponents, backed mainly by former secretary-general Önder Sav, who managed to collect the required number of signatures from party delegates to force a congress.
The dissidents argue that the chairman wields “sultan’s powers” over the party and they should be curbed. They also call for reducing the number of signatures required for holding elections for a new chairman. The demand has fuelled mistrust that the dissidents are actually trying to secure the convention as a platform on which to maneuver to force a chairmanship election aimed at toppling Kılıçdaroğlu. The tensions within the CHP have been fuelled by an ideological rift, with the old guard loathing the party’s more liberal agenda.
Despite the underlying tensions, Kılıçdaroğlu vowed at the weekend that “the convention will become a festival of democracy.” He said he would not shy away from a competition for the party leadership, which is scheduled to take place at the party’s grand congress in the autumn.
The CHP leader lamented the notorious fractures in Turkey’s social-democrat movement. “The way to coming to power goes through overcoming personal egos and rivalries. We must question ourselves if social democrats are failing to come to power in a country with such huge income disparities,” he said.