Turkish parties slam kidnapping of MP, fall short on meet
CHP’s Aygün was kidnapped by the PKK in his electoral province.The outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) Kidnapping of main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy has drawn rebuff from both the ruling and opposition parties, as the CHP called on the government to make the necessary efforts for the safe rescue of their deputy.
Describing the incident as “a security and intelligence scandal,” CHP deputy chair and spokesperson Haluk Koç said the abduction of CHP Tunceli deputy Hüseyin Aygün was a grave issue.
“Prime Minister [Recep Tayyip Erdoğan] and the ruling party are making attempts to cover this gravity. The prime minister says that everything is under their control, but this statement is not convincing. Terrorists have the ability to kidnap public officials. We unfortunately understand that there are some regions that cannot be controlled by the state,” Koç said.
Aygün was kidnapped late Aug. 12 by two PKK militants in Tunceli when he was returning from a visit to the Ovacık district of Tunceli.
“These [incidents] are what we were expecting,” Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said late Aug. 12 in an initial reaction to the abduction of the CHP deputy.
Erdoğan phoned CHP chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu to express his condemnation of the incident yesterday and said that security units were following the issue and exerting the utmost effort to secure the release of Aygün, according to prime ministry officials.
President Abdullah Gül, Chief of General Staff General Necdet Özel and Parliament speaker Cemil Çiçek also phoned Kılıçdaroğlu.
Gül said the kidnapping was an attack against Turkey’s national will and said he appreciated the political parties’ common stand against the abduction.
“Undoubtedly it is a harrowing incident and it should be condemned. I condemn [the incident]. This is an offense to the will of the nation, democracy and to our parliament,” said Çiçek.
Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli recalled similar acts by the PKK. “The bloody organization, which has so far kidnapped soldiers, police officers, teachers, lawyers and engineers, has finally added lawmakers to its blacklist,” Bahçeli said yesterday in a written statement. “This act is a clear insult to the Turkish nation’s will and dignity.”
Bahçeli also asked the CHP to recall its call for an extraordinary parliamentary session on terror.
Meanwhile, in a written statement the PKK announced that Aygün would be released as soon as possible, adding that the deputy’s life will be endangered if operations to rescue him continue.
According to statements made on Fırat news website, the PKK claimed Aygün was a coordinator of the state’s special war policies and tactics against the PKK and that he was “taken into custody” upon “extensive complaints from the public.”
Parliament’s Human Rights Commission, a commission of which Aygün is one of the members, condemned the incident in a written statement and defined the incident “as an attack to the national will.”
Also commenting on the issue, Transportation Minister Binali Yıldırım said the PKK wanted to give the message that it had survived after its heavy battle casualty in Şemdinli by their kidnapping of a CHP deputy and its attack in Foça.
Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) deputy chair Oktay Vural, for his part, said the abduction of Aygün was saddening and worrying. “The terrorist organization PKK cannot take the Turkish nation’s sovereignty hostage. These acts are exemplary to show how daring the terrorist organization has become. We warn both the AKP and the CHP. We should stand behind the fight against terrorism with determination,” Vural said.
Expressing their sorrow for Aygün’s kidnapping, Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) co-chairs have described the incident as “unacceptable,” and emphasized that they are ready to lend any kind of support to Aygün’s safe and sound return.
BDP co-chairs Selahattin Demirtaş and Gültan Kışanak stressed that they ae expecting Aygün’s release and slammed the AKP for the statements AKP deputies have made over Aygün’s kidnapping.
“The government would not care even if all lawmakers were kidnapped. We are following the statements coming from the ruling party and are astounded. We have no doubt that the government will act heedlessly, without a serious attitude and inhumanely as they did when a district governor, soldiers or police were kidnapped,” BDP deputy co-chairs said in a written statement released yesterday.
AKP deputy Şamil Tayyar wrote a cynical message on his Twitter account after the incident occurred. “PKK had Aygün as a guest. Have a good chat. But people will not be fooled with this trick,” he wrote.
Condemning the incident, the European Union called for the immediate release of Aygün.
“We have learned of the abduction of Deputy Hüseyin Aygün with great concern. We want him to be released immediately. The EU condemns all kinds of terror,” European Commission spokesperson Sebastien Brabant told İhlas news agency yesterday.
The EU official said they recognize the PKK as a terrorist organization and said they would communicate with Turkish officials on the incident.