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Kılıçdaroğlu: What’s your issue with the Medical Association of Turkey’s announcement?

CHP General Chair Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu addressed his party’s group meeting.
Yayınlanma tarihi: 31 Ocak 2018 Çarşamba, 14:34

The key points from Kılıçdaroğlu’s speech:

Today in Turkey we have 352,000 autistic children, but the number of autistic children accessing education is 26,586. This is very, very low. These children need education. An autistic child needs to get forty hours of education per week to surmount this problem. We have three basic problems. The children are not being given adequate education. I give a promise about this. We will also fight for this. One of the duties of the welfare state is to create physical spaces where they will obtain a good education. Today we have a shortage of seven thousand teachers. I give a promise about that, too. Our colleagues drew up a research proposal. One’s heartfelt wish is for this proposal to be accepted with the support of all parties. Let all those involved give information and let’s come up with a solution. The proposal we submitted was rejected by AK Party MPs. I leave 353,000 families to reach their own conclusions about this. With us calling for the matter to be investigated, they resolved for the matter not be investigated. We will fight for this in every way. I bring this to the awareness of all citizens.

The arresting of Medical Association of Turkey members

Turkey’s agenda changes so quickly that for sure nobody knows what will happen the next morning. You don’t get this in another country. A sense of anxiety and intimidation wants to settle over society like a dark cloud. We took a look this morning. The police staged an operation on Medical Association of Turkey Headquarters. Arrests and people taken to court. If you wrote them a letter they’d come. These people are not fugitives. You would imagine that the announcement was an announcement criticising the ruling party in the harshest manner.

I’m reading it: “We doctors caution that war is a popular health problem instigated by humans that causes destruction to nature and people.” Is that correct? It’s correct. Which war did not cause destruction to nature and people? Every war brings human drama. Syria is right in front of our eyes. There are 3.5 million refugees in Turkey. They spoke of spending thirty billion dollars but they didn’t even spend three billion dollars. We also know how Syrian children have been reduced to begging. Was it not war that created this drama? What’s your issue? “As members of a profession who have sworn to preserve life, we cannot lose sight of our primary duty of defending life.” Correct. What person in possession of their senses does not defend life? This is what they are saying, too. “The way to overcome war is to create a just, free and peaceful life and to make this permanent.” Who could have an issue with creating freedom and a peaceful world? They said, “No to war. Peace right now.” How dare they? They got arrested. Actions of this kind will cast a shadow over the Afrin operation you are conducting and which society as a whole supports. As if to say, “We are making a mistake somewhere. Let nobody see this mistake.” Why are you doing this? People can express their thoughts freely. We have directed the whole world’s attention to a different place. They are cracking down on doctors. Even if soldiers catch terrorist organisation members wounded in the mountains, they take them to hospital. This is most, most important in terms of the army’s esteem. If you cannot tolerate doctor’s expressing their thoughts, this is incorrect. I hope the government will have learnt the lesson from this.

I have stated this before in very many settings. Turkey is in a very strategic region in terms of its geographic location. It is very important for Turkey to take democratic strides forward in this region that can be an example for the whole region and to gain esteem in the world by being an example for the region. Undoubtedly, no country can give open support to terrorism and wishes to put an end to it. We must say “yes” to human rights and “yes” to democracy and, all together, “no” to terrorism. Our support for the operation being conducted in Afrin is total, but reference being made to it in parallel with the Free Syrian Army is a cause of concern. It was our army that went and we are virtually ascribing this to the Free Syrian Army’s heroism. It is every citizen’s most basic duty to defend the army’s heroism and honour. There is also great immorality in trying to garner votes with the blood of little Mehmets.

There was a domestic rising in Syria on 26 January 2011. On 29 April 2011, fugitives arrived on our borders as refugees. Many radical groups like Islamic State and Al-Nusra began to form in this process and arms were sent to them by the truckload. We said, “Beware of dragging Turkey into the Middle-Eastern quagmire.” None of this was accepted by those in power. They criticised us at every opportunity. At the time Syria fell into turmoil, Russia and America were not present as main actors in the region. I sent a letter to the Prime-Minister of the day, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, saying that this would visit great calamity on Turkey in the future.

Look at what I said in the letter: “Your Excellency the Prime-Minister, developments in Syria continue to exert a negative effect, including in the areas of the economy, tourism and transport. Moreover, it is a possibility that cannot be excluded that, if the violence and conflict in Syria is not halted, the civil war will expand in dimension and turn into a regional conflict. We, as the CHP, favour defending Syria’s independence. Turkey should follow pro-peace policies and broker an end to the violence as a priority. The international community’s solution efforts have not achieved the desired results. Taking additional account of the prevailing conditions and proposals emanating from the CHP, I submit for your consideration the wide-ranging solution proposal that we have drawn up on this occasion. Were your government to champion this proposal, the international community’s efforts may be rendered fruitful. With my regards, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, General Chair. 2012.”

We were saying this in 2012, but they criticised us and continued to send arms. They continued to send arms with intelligence agency trucks.

Two years after our warning, the chief of the general staff’s intelligence office made an announcement at the time when the arms were passing into the hands of terrorist organisations. If you cannot see three steps beyond the move you make in foreign policy, you cannot govern the country properly. Everyone deceived you. The latest one to do so was Obama. Just pay heed to me, as well, brother. I do not deceive you.

I call out to eighty million of my citizens. Who formed the most consistent policy on Syria? Your neighbour’s on fire and you go with a can of petrol. Then what happens? Bombs go off in Cilvegözü on 11 February 2013. In Reyhanlı on 11 May 2013, 52 of our citizens lose their lives. They couldn’t even get round to naming the organisation. They called Islamic State “naughty children” at the time.

“You summoned Salih Müslim to Ankara and unfurled red carpets”

The inhabitants of Syria are our brothers, our relatives. We have a shared history, we have shared sorrows and we have shared joys. They turned the Middle-Eastern quagmire into a venue for Turkey. They gave support of all kinds to terrorist organisations. In the meantime, they have now declared the PYD an enemy. It’s an extension of the PKK, that’s correct. OK, who summoned Salih Müslim to Ankara countless times and unfurled red carpets beneath him, saying, “Welcome?” Was it the CHP? We got up one morning and they, too, were the enemy. What changed to make them the enemy? We warned you many times. You fell into the trap again.

Çavuşoğlu's reaction to Öztürk Yılmaz

Our Mosul Consulate was raided and 49 staff members abducted. One of them was our Ardahan MP Öztürk Yılmaz. The best-informed person about each and every terrorist organisation. A former ambassador. He worked in the region and this person is now being singled out for treatment by the AK Party. Denigration of all kinds is being made. The Foreign Minister says, “He was my civil servant.” One second, my good gentleman. If you consider the state’s civil servant to be your own civil servant, you’ll come unstuck like this.

To the pool media: Why are you not making the criticism you had for me?

I was saying let’s repair Syria and we’ll make you schools and houses and you return to the homes of your fathers. Time has passed and now he’s talking: “When a climate of calm has been established in Afrin, hundreds of thousands of Syrians will be reunited with their homes.” Are those scribes saying anything now? Why are you not making the criticism you had for me?

“Had it been me, had it called for the sacrifice of ten thousand lives, we would have made it and our flag would be flying there”

The people of the region are our relatives. We will give support of all kinds. We also did the following. We said let Turkey make every kind of effort to broker calm in the region. Turkey wields separate power over the region. Turkey could be a country that courts attention. We have reached the point at which Turkey has to flee its own territory. It was forced to flee giving property to a terrorist organisation. I am speaking of the Tomb of Suleyman Shah. Now the gentleman is strutting around supposedly a hero. Had it been me, had it called for the sacrifice of ten thousand lives, we would have made it and our flag would be flying there. You can’t make a hero out of a coward. You can’t make a hero out of one who surrenders to terrorist organisations.

This country’s interests come above all else. It is enough that we all together construct the edifice of a respected Turkey. The point we have reached today sees Turkey as part of the Middle-Eastern quagmire. Had they heeded our words, Turkey would today be both the strongest and best respected county in the region. They don’t know how to govern Turkey. They don’t know Turkey’s history.

With things stacking up this way, the AK Party and its scribes accuse the CHP and imagine that we will take a step back. Give it all you’ve got, we won’t step back one millimetre. We are calling the man who fled his own territory to account. He walks around supposedly a hero. Where’s the heroism?

He read the comment by Sıtkı Aydın, the worker who burnt himself in front of parliament

I spoke of it and all hell broke loose. I came in for the harshest of criticism. At least everyone has heard about that person burning himself in front of parliament. He says, “I am not inexperienced. A fastening should have been fitted where I was working, but it wasn’t. There was no net below. There needs to be a certain amount of time for us to do our job safely, but there was no time, either. That day, too, things were being done without precautions. And that day I fell down from the third floor onto my back.” Our brother Sıtkı continues: “They bundled me off to hospital. I stayed in intensive care for three days.” Look at this poor man. And he goes on: “I have worked all my life but have nothing apart from my jacket.” Sıtkı, brother, the first person to raise this in parliament was this brother of yours and the CHP. We stand by the needy. Ours is no idle talk, but is backed by deeds.

Cumhuriyet İMECESİ

Cumhuriyet Arşivi Gazete Kupürlerinde:

Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Öztürk Yılmaz