Kılıçdaroğlu: Erdoğan took fright and sent Akar

CHP leader Kılıçdaroğlu is keeping up his harsh criticism of the visit made by Chief of the General Staff Akar and Presidential Spokesperson Kalın to Abdullah Gül. Kılıçdaroğlu said, “Erdoğan acting this way stems from fear. A clearer and more blatant shadow could not be cast over democracy. Erdoğan is doing what being a dictator calls for.”

30 Nisan 2018 Pazartesi, 15:40
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CHP General Chair Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said with reference to Chief of the General Staff Hulusi Akar and Presidential Spokesperson İbrahim Kalın’s meeting with former President Abdullah Gül, “Erdoğan acting this way stems from fear. A clearer and more blatant shadow could not be cast over democracy. Erdoğan is doing what being a dictator calls for. He has made an endeavour to halt a person who sides with democracy from standing and speaking.” Kılıçdaroğlu, indicating that the visit did not sway Gül into not standing, commented, “He said he was not standing because agreement could not be reached. It has become even more apparent that Gül sides with democracy and Erdoğan with dictatorial rule.” Kılıçdaroğlu, noting that the election campaign will be waged as “another version of the ‘no’ campaign,” said, “Each political party will hold its own rallies. Its presidential candidate will campaign independently, too. But, the rhetoric must be the same. We will take the election in the second round with sixty per cent.”

 

Kılıçdaroğlu replied to my questions on the plane as he was proceeding to Marmaris from Kayseri, where he had been for his party’s provincial chairs’ meeting. Kılıçdaroğlu had the following messages:

 

Shadow cast over democracy: (Akar’s visit to Gül) This is a dictatorial rule using soldiers in pursuance of its own tutelage and thoughts to guarantee its own future. It is more serious than the 28 February process. The applying of such blatant pressure stems from their fear of the prospects that will emerge on 24 June. We have witnessed a structure that uses the state and the state’s force to prevent a person from standing for president. It is absolutely unacceptable for a person who until yesterday spoke of “military tutelage” and said, “We removed the tutelage over democracy,” after having usurped the state’s institutions, to send the Chief of the General Staff with a “palace spokesperson” placed at his side to Abdullah Gül to prevent a person from standing for president. Erdoğan acting this way stems from fear. A clearer and more blatant shadow could not be cast over democracy. Erdoğan is doing what being a dictator calls for. He has made an endeavour to halt a person who sides with democracy from standing and speaking.”

 

Gül not swayed by visit: We realised whether the visit had swayed him from the press conference. Gül said that he had declared he would stand if broad agreement was reached with the circles that were negotiating with him. He said he was not standing because that agreement had not been reached. He thus showed that he was not a president who was bowing before the tutelage. It has become even more apparent that Gül sides with democracy and Erdoğan with dictatorial rule. (Would you support Gül if Akşener was not a candidate?) This is over and done with. It is incorrect to make a comment today. I do not want to broach this point. I had no contacts with Gül.

 

He said they are non-existent: The eleventh president explained what he would have done had there been agreement. Transparency, meritocracy and accountability; he stated he would have done these. What does this mean? It means these things are non-existent. He also told his critics from within the AKP, “Take your head between your two hands and think.” He said, “The way things are going does not bode well.” He cannot be so irresponsible as to ignore all these events. Gül makes these pronouncements in an air of responsibility. He says the AKP has moved away from its founding philosophy, too. Included in the proclamation placed before society when the AKP was founded was “the separation of powers, the supremacy of the law, transparency and accountability.” There was the selection of parliamentary candidates through preliminary elections and the fight against corruption and poverty. The country has become a country of prohibitions. In Kayseri alone, 323,000 people are trying to stand on their feet with social assistance. We have seen those who have taken corruption to new heights or even rob the state climbing to the upper echelons of the state.

 

All political parties will benefit from alliance: Each political party will go forward with its own list so as to foster effective union over democracy. However, I do not deem it correct to comment just now on the conditions under which alliance will be achieved. There is tremendous enthusiasm. They are striving with the utmost good faith to contribute towards democracy and for democracy to take root. On contesting the election together with an alliance as many as eighty more parliamentary seats emerge. All political parties will benefit from this situation.

 

First job: Enacting a political morality law: The first job we will do in the fight against corruption will be to enact a political morality law in parliament. This will be a first in the history of the Republic. Thieves and ne’er-do-wells will have no business in parliament. Politicians will give account to the people. Politicians will come from among honourable people. Politics will not be a means for getting rich quick and pulling a fast one on the people.

 

Same rhetoric, different rallies: Each political party will hold its own rallies. Their presidential candidate will also campaign independently. They must be kept separate on account of this, because the presidential budget will be financed through donations, but the parliamentary election from the Treasury. As such, it is incorrect for both to be waged together. But the rally rhetoric of the presidential candidates and general chairs must be the same. We will speak directly to opinion leaders in the election period, as we did in the referendum. There is a special place for face-to-face communication. We will address all sections of society. It will be another version of the “no” campaign. We saw the plusses of this in the referendum.

 

It will be like the “no” campaign: If you ask me, there should not be a “party-member president.” I have said months earlier that I will not stand as general chair. Defenders of democracy will take this election, because the defenders of democracy have formed a block. Democracy is the shared rhetoric of them all. And we will take the election in the second round with sixty per cent.

 

600 candidates through headquarters surveys: The schedule for parliamentary elections is short. We have decided to select candidates through headquarters surveys. Of course, we are imposing a serious burden on headquarters. But, we may survey preferences in certain places to take the pulse of the organisation. In doing so, we will also attach consideration to the characteristics of provinces.

 

Constitution for social peace: Turkey needs to make a constitution that is fully purged of tutelage and out of its free will. This is very important for social peace. This is also exceptionally important for securing national peace. We as the CHP have carried out preliminary constitutional work. I do not know to what extent the others will participate. If, the morning of 25 June sees us on the cusp of a process that will strengthen democracy, which I believe it will, there is a need for a constitution that will achieve social peace and guarantee that we can live together.

 

One with the willpower needed to solve five problems: Normally, in functioning systems, the legislature and executive must be elected at separate times. The person to be elected will rule Turkey. It is clear where we have reached in the economy, education, foreign policy, democracy and social peace. Turkey needs one with the willpower to solve five basic problems. Not a problem causer. Willpower is currently exercised by the one who created the five problems. There is a need for a strong and wise exerciser of willpower who will solve these five problems. Having the nature of everyone’s president without splitting and polarising society. We do not absolutely necessarily have to select our candidate from among CHP members. (The names of İlhan Kesici and Yılmaz Büyükerşen are most prominent. Will we be surprised if it is not them?) Why? There is no cause for surprise over the eventual candidate. There are many people within our party capable of solving these problems. Both Kesici and Büyükerşen are people having this capacity.

 

30,000 critical ballot boxes

 

We will stand by the ballot boxes. My shared wish of all our citizens is: go to the polls and vote. Use your vote. We will ensure the integrity of all ballot boxes. Party people and civil society organisations have moved into action. Above all, bar associations, professional organisations and sensitive citizens have moved into action. We will ensure integrity at all ballot boxes. Out of 100,000 ballot boxes, only 30,000 ballot boxes are critical. Our IT deputy general chair and a group of academics have established this in a study working on certain assumptions. Ballot box integrity is ensured in the big cities. We have more of a problem in the countryside. In coming up with the 30,000 critical ballot boxes, for example, these are those producing zero votes for our party, producing more votes than there were ballot slips or where a hundred people live in a village and the number of votes emerging from the ballot box is higher. We need at least 60,000 volunteers. Every citizen who says, “I will go anywhere in Turkey and stand by the ballot box” should contact the platform run by Party Assembly member Mehmet Ali Çelebi.