Turkish main opposition determined to attend alleged coup plot case trial

Turkish main opposition determined to attend alleged coup plot case trial

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Turkish main opposition determined to attend alleged coup plot case trial

Ergenekon trial delayed due to high tension outside the court on April 8. Hürriyet photo

The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has challenged Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, voicing determination to attend protests during today’s trials of the Ergenekon coup plot case only a day after Erdoğan’s harsh criticism in which he accused the CHP deputies of “attacking independent courts.”

“Tomorrow [April 10], we will be in Silivri again. I am addressing the Prime Minister too. If you have the sufficient courage, if you have a conscience, you too come to Silivri, and see the state of the case you said you are the ‘prosecutor’ of,” CHP Deputy Chair Umut Oran said in a written statement released yesterday.

Oran also said they would not be hiding behind their immunity from prosecution and that they actually wished the immunities would be abolished.

Erdoğan on April 9 accused CHP’s deputies of attempting to influence the judiciary and provoke people to engage in illegal meetings and marches.

In Istanbul, the Silivri Chief Prosecutor’s Office denied news reports suggesting that the office had launched an investigation into incidents which took place in front of the Silivri Prison upon “an order.” “Any order or direction by an office or official is out of the question in the investigation which has been launched upon learning that criminal actions were committed,” the Silivri Chief Prosecutor’s Office said in a written statement.

Several CHP deputies claimed that the investigation was launched shortly after Erdoğan’s remarks on the issue, and thus was actually meant to fulfill an order by the prime minister.

On April 8, judges hearing the controversial Ergenekon case postponed the trial until today due to high tension outside the court, as thousands of protesters clashed with police and gendarmerie forces. The CHP was represented at the hearing by 50 deputies, including Oran and deputy parliamentary group chair Muharrem İnce. Police and gendarmerie forces used pepper gas and water cannon against tens of thousands of protesters who pulled down police barriers in front of the 13th Istanbul High Criminal Court in Silivri.

The court is trying 275 suspects, of whom 67 are under arrest including CHP deputies Mehmet Haberal and Mustafa Balbay and former Chief of General Staff Gen. İlker Başbuğ.