Turkish main opposition leader blasts police media operation as a ‘coup’

Turkish main opposition leader blasts police media operation as a ‘coup’

Turkish main opposition leader blasts police media operation as a ‘coup’

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Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) head Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has described the Dec. 14 police operation, in which the police raided a newspaper and detained a number of broadcasters, as a “coup.”

“The current process is not something faced in healthy democracies. This is a coup process,” Kılıçdaroğlu said. “Detentions of journalists and raids on television stations in the early morning are not something we can accept in any circumstances.”

Without directly touching on the operation, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said the day had come for the "test," while adressing members of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Elazığ.

“This is the day of the test. Everyone will render an account or receive a prize for what they have done, and for their attitude toward democracy in this country,” Davutoğlu said on Dec. 14.

Numan Kurtulmuş, the deputy leader of the AKP, declined to comment, simply saying they were “observing the process.”

Interior Minister Efkan Ala, who is set to attend the AKP’s provincal congress in the eastern province of Ağrı, also declined to comment.

Oktay Vural, the deputy leader of the Nationalist Movement Party, said the operation targeted the public’s right to be informed on the corruption issue, labelling those ordered the operation “cowards.”

Hasip Kaplan, a deputy from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), said this was an act to “silence the opposition.”

Istanbul deputy and former professional footballer Hakan Şükür went to the Istanbul office of daily Zaman in the Yenibosna neighborhood to express support for the newspaper against the operation.

Şükür, who was elected as an AKP Istanbul deputy in the June 2011 elections, firmly positioned himself on the side of the Gülen movement late last year, resigning from the party on the eve of massive graft investigations targeting leading ministers and pro-government businessmen.