Chair of Turkey’s main opposition party, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, has lately become the target of a systematic verbal attack of members of the ruling AKP (Justice and Development Party), the President, and their supporters.
Earlier this week, CHP’s (Republican People’s Party) Chair Kılıçdaroğlu gave statements to a group of journalists in Ankara, including BirGün’s Yaşar Aydın, on a range of topics from Erdoğan’s claims about involvement of Kılıçdaroğlu in giving information to journalists on MİT trucks case to speculations about a possible early election in the country.
‘Judiciary in Turkey is used as a tool to suppress people’
In a recent speech delivered to his party members, Erdoğan had accused Kılıçdaroğlu of having provided jailed CHP MP Berberoğlu with ‘secret information’ that had eventually led to the spread of reports of the Cumhuriyet newspaper on the MİT trucks found to have been delivering weapons to Syria. Talking to his fellow party members, Erdoğan had claimed that he ‘received information from authorities’ and said: “You know the person (Enis Berberoğlu) who is locked; if it turns out that he has a link with Kılıçdaroğlu, do not be shocked”.
In his statements to journalists, Kılıçdaroğlu said: “With his statement, Erdoğan has actually made a major confession. His remarks mean that he is saying, ‘I am indeed giving orders to prosecutors and judges and they do whatever is necessary according to the orders they get from me’. Erdoğan’s accusation regarding Enis Berberoğlu justifies our assertions - which we have been expressing since the beginning – that ‘judiciary in Turkey is not independent and is used as a political stick to shape the society and the institutions’. The judicial institutions are being used as a tool to suppress the people and the opposition…
Erdoğan is the one who gives orders to the prosecutors directly. And, it is again Erdoğan that the prosecutors ask whether there are any other ‘requests’…”
Referring to the case against CHP MP and journalist Enis Berberoğlu, Kılıçdaroğlu said ‘if anyone is to be accused of espionage, it is those who had open the doors of the Cosmic Room to FETÖ’, the alleged group behind the failed coup.
Reminding that the information published by the opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet regarding the MİT trucks is not even considered by the Constitutional Court as a ‘state secret’, Kılıçdaroğlu questioned how possibly a lower court could deem the act as ‘espionage’. “It could only be possible with a higher command! There can’t be anything behind it aside from an ordered received... And we all know who gives those orders”, he added.
‘They want to silence CHP’
Saying the case against the Cumhuriyet over the reports on MİT trucks is a ‘conspired case just as the cases of Balyoz and Ergenekon’, Kılıçdaroğlu defined the current case as an attempt of the government to ‘silence the main opposition party CHP’.
“They (government officials) want to intimidate us. But we are not going to give in to any pressure or unlawfulness. We are going to defend rights and laws ‘till the end. We have neither a habit of nor a belief in kneeling down before a vile”, he said, adding that the latest verbal aggression of Erdoğan towards Kılıçdaroğlu is also an effort to cover up the statement of a former AKP executive on AKP’s aim to establish a new state in Turkey.
‘There is need for a new Constitution embraced by everyone'
Also commenting on the recently amended Constitution, Kılıçdaroğlu said ‘a constitution that is not approved by half of the country cannot bring about prosperity’ and repeated his party’s demand for a new constitution that would be ‘embraced by everyone’.
“We must first agree on one point: this is not a matter of left or right. It’s a concern for all of Turkey; for the future of our people and our children. If you look at it from a perspective of left or right, it would be a mistake. We, as the people, are going to firstly have to agree on fundamental principles such as democratic parliamentary system; independence of judiciary; freedom of speech; equality between women and men; freedom of religion and conscience… In the referendum (on constitutional amendments), constituents in favor of democracy were on one side and those in favor of a totalitarian system were on the other. Among those who casted a ‘yes’ vote were also some who are actually pro-democracy but they could not realize the result would be like this. But if there was a referendum again today, the ‘no’ votes would be much higher”.
‘Around 65% of the people in Turkey supported our Justice March’
About the Justice March, he said: “We have left our mark both in our and in world’s history with the Justice March. According to certain results of research, we see that 65% of the society supported this march. When that’s the case, you become the voice of a people that is thirsty for justice”.