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Chair of Turkey’s main opposition party (CHP) Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu held a press conference with the Ankara correspondents of newspapers and TV channels on December 28. In the conference held over a dinner, conversations were mostly about the constitutional amendments for the establishment of presidential system and Turkey’s cross-border operations.
Emphasizing that Turkey is being dragged into darkness, Kılıçdaroğlu said: “Erdoğan and AKP are trying to change the regime through majority votes. Attempting something like this means betraying democracy. A constitutional change cannot be discussed while state of emergency is still enforced. If a secret voting is held, 330 votes will not be achieved.”
Kılıçdaroğlu answered journalists questions about the insistance of AKP on presidential system; MHP’s role; Turkey’s operations in Syria; FETÖ operations; state of emergency; and, more.
Statements and anwers of Kılıçdaroğlu followed as below.
‘Our proposal was on law, economy, education, foreign policy, and peace’
AKP continues to try adapting constitutional changes through its oppressive means. Let’s look at the latest changes from 2010. We warned them a lot at that time... They did not listen to us. They changed the structure of Supreme Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) completey. The result is obvious. And, now, they say that with the currently proposed changes everything will get better. But I assure you that much worse days are awaiting us. We proposed changes for five fundamental issues: law, economy, education, foreign policy, and societal peace... Now, all of these fields are left aside...”
‘Insistence on presidential system is meaningless’
I don’t understand the insistence on presidential system. There is a party that has been in power for 14 years and it has the power to change anything it wants. But there is a meaningless insistence on presidential system. On the other hand, there is not a societal consensus on this. We are talking about a change prepared by two parties (AKP and MHP). Before anything, this is offending the parliament. We warn once again: Turkey is being pulled into darkness.”
‘If voting is done with secret ballots, the changes will not receive approval of 330 MPs.'
Pointing out that the current process is far from being fair and reflective of the national will, Kılıçdaroğlu emphasized 90% of media is under the control of the government and intellectuals are shying away from speaking out their views.
Kılıçdaroğlu defined the intentions of AKP as ‘changing the regime’ and said the ‘guarantee of the state will be jeopardized if the president is legally ripped out of her/his impartiality.’
Kılıçdaroğlu said: “If the Constitutional terms are obeyed and the voting is done with secret ballots, the necessary 330 votes from the parliament will not be gained (for approving the changes). I know that not even one ‘yes’ vote will come out from CHP but the two parties’ (AKP and MHP) MPs are not decided…”
‘AKP’s real target in Syria is not ISIL’
Reminding on the latest claims about two Turkish soldiers having been burnt alive by ISIL, Kılıçdaroğlu criticized the government as being incompetent and said its (AKP’s) real target in Syria was not ISIL.
Kılıçdaroğlu also asserted that Erdoğan would eventually ‘shake hands with Assad’, and, argued for the necessity of going back to leading a national foreign policy where Syria’s territorial integrity is respected.
‘Detention of HDP MPs is not contributing to peace’
Kılıçdaroğlu also talked about the detention of HDP (People’s Democratic Party) co-chairs and MPs and said: “We have several times expressed our views that we did not find it right for HDP MPs to be arrested and that it did not contribute to peace. I defended that MPs should have been tried without arrest and I still hold the same view. As with regards to all fundemental problems in Turkey, I think, this one, too, can be solved through an absolute democracy.”
Front-page article of BirGün on 29 December 2016, Thursday
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