Published On: Sun, Jun 5th, 2011

CHP Chief: Turkish PM Threatened Businessman



The prime minister issued threatened a prominent businessman when he said the man “put his business at risk” by making a bet with journalists that the government would lose the elections, the main opposition has said.

“The prime minister is openly saying, ‘You will either be on my side, or nowhere at all.’ He openly threatened [businessman] İnan [Kıraç]. ‘You said that? I’ll show you after the elections.’ There is a regime of a state of emergency everywhere in Turkey. I can give hundreds of examples,” Republican People’s Party, or CHP, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu told Kanaltürk late Thursday.

“Can’t individuals express their opinions and say that ‘x party will win’ in a democracy? Will they be lynched for it? How can there be such an understanding? Can you call this a democracy?” said the CHP chief.

As for the criticism Kılıçdaroğlu received for stating he would bring the practice of self-governance to solve the Kurdish issue, the CHP chief pointed out this not only appeared in the European Charter of Local Self Government, which Turkey accepted in 1998, but also in the ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP’s, party program.

“We support a unitary state. Self-governance for local governments is not only needed for Hakkari, but for Istanbul and İzmir, too. It’s not for just one region. We just want the abolishment of Turkey’s reservations … on the issue,” he said.

“Mr. [Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan is the separatist leader. He can sue me for saying that. Go ahead. I will prove your separatist actions in court,” said the CHP chief, adding that his only goal was to unify the country.

Kılıçdaroğlu also responded to criticism that one of his deputy candidates had served time for helping and harboring terrorists.

“Our candidate from Diyarbakır, Melik Aykız, was taken into custody in 1992, but was acquitted,” said Kılıçdaroğlu. “Anyone who accepts the principles of the CHP can join, even if they come from the AKP or the [Nationalist Movement Party] MHP. And if someone committed a crime, do we shun them from society? The CHP is here for everyone, we don’t marginalize.”

Meanwhile, a parliamentary system is necessary for Turkey, the CHP chief said, adding that instead of a presidential system, the parliamentary system could be improved because there was no healthy balance between the executive, legislative and judicial powers. Kılıçdaroğlu added that the media was also censored.

The CHP chief was also asked about why he never criticized the MHP and if he ever considered forming a coalition between the two parties.

“Well, the MHP is not in power. If they were, we would criticize certain things. But there is no situation requiring us to clash right now,” said Kılıçdaroğlu.

June 3, 2011
SOURCE: Hürriyet Daily News