Turkish main opposition CHP to toughen its opposition over corruption at commission work

Turkish main opposition CHP to toughen its opposition over corruption at commission work

Turkish main opposition CHP to toughen its opposition over corruption at commission work

CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu addresses lawmakers at his party's weekly group meeting. AA Photo

The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has vowed to inform public opinion about all details of the corruption and graft claims against four former ministers during the upcoming investigation commission works. He also accused Parliament Speaker Cemil Çiçek of “censoring” parliamentary debates.

“All documents and reports [about corruption claims] will be brought to Parliament’s Investigation Commission. We will dig into all such documents and let the public be informed about them. They even censored parliamentary debates in order not to let the people hear about this,” CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu told his lawmakers at his weekly group meeting.

Kılıçdaroğlu accused Çiçek of censoring Monday’s General Assembly meeting, during which parties discussed the corruption claims about four former ministers and debated the future investigation commission. “What kind of understanding can block Parliament’s work to the knowledge of public opinion?” he asked, referring to the fact that the session was scheduled for Monday, a day when the Parliament’s TV station does not broadcast.

After a strained 16-hour-long session, Parliament voted to set up a single commission to probe corruption and graft claims about Zafer Çağlayan, Egemen Bağış, Muammer Güler and Erdoğan Bayraktar.

CHP leader Kılıçdaroğlu recalled that the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) had urged Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan that Çağlayan and Güler’s relations with Iranian-origin businessman Reza Zarrab could damage the government last year.

“The report is dated April 18. But there was no move from Prime Minister Erdoğan until December,” he said, suggesting that the prime minister was already aware of the links of his ministers with Zarrab.

Kılıçdaroğlu recalled that the list of the country’s highest taxpayers was released on Monday but did not include Zarrab, who recently argued that he had closed 15 percent of Turkey’s public deficit through his gold trade. “In fact, he is paying his taxes but he does not know that he should pay them to the Tax Office. He is paying his tax directly to Erdoğan in cash,” he said.

Slamming prosecutor

Accusing the government of covering corruption claims with the help of pro-government prosecutors, Kılıçdaroğlu said there were two types of prosecutors in the judiciary: “Public prosecutors” and “Erdoğan’s prosecutors.” Recalling that a prosecutor called him to testify last week despite having no such authority, Kılıçdaroğlu stated that the prosecutor’s move came upon a complaint from Bilal Erdoğan, the son of the prime minister.

“Well, you see. The thief files a complaint against me. You cannot see such a thing in normal democracies. But they do it here,” he said.