The leaders of the opposition on Tuesday blasted nine members of the parliamentary Corruption Investigation Commission who voted against sending four former ministers to the top court to face trial, with main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu calling them “sell-outs.”
"Talking in his weekly address to the party caucus on Tuesday, Kılıçdaroğlu said, “These deputies [members of the corruption commission] are deputies who have taken it upon themselves to be the protectors of thieves.” (1)
“What kind of a conscience do you have? How can you rent out your consciences? How can you sell them? Is it this easy to be the protectors of thieves? You have sold your conscience, sold your morals, sold your beliefs, sold your faith," Kılıçdaroğlu said, strongly criticizing the commission members from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party)." (2)
“Because you sold your morals, you sold them politically, I’m sorry, but you are people for sale,” he said. (1)
“Who are you to close this corruption case while everything is so clear? With what face will you look at your children, your wife?” added Kılıçdaroğlu. (2)
The nine members of the 14-member parliamentary Corruption Investigation Commission who come from the ruling party voted, as expected, against referring four former ministers to the Constitutional Court over allegations of corruption and bribery, in a session of the commission on Monday. (1)
The four ex-ministers were accused of engaging in corruption and bribery in investigations that went public in December 2013, in which several members of the AK Party government, as well as family members of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, were implicated. (1)
Kılıçdaroğlu chastised the commission’s verdict not to send the four former ministers to the Supreme State Council, the name the Constitutional Court assumes when trying high-ranking government officials, as he read out the names of the members who were from the AK Party one by one. (1)
“This commission was set up. The parliamentary Corruption Investigation Commission asked should the four former ministers go to the State Supreme Court or not? The commission announced its verdict yesterday. Nine AK Party deputies voted not to send the ministers to the State Supreme Court,” he said. (1)
Kılıçdaroğlu then continued by reading out the names of the AK Party deputies on the commission: “Hakkı Köylü, Kastamonu deputy; Bilal Uçar, Denizli deputy; Mustafa Akış, Konya deputy; Ayşe Türkmenoğlu, Konya deputy; İsmet Su, Bursa deputy; İlknur İnceöz, Aksaray deputy; Mustafa Kemal Şerbetçioğlu, Bursa deputy; Yılmaz Tunç, Bartın deputy; Yusuf Başer, Yozgat deputy … these deputies have set out to protect thieves.” (1)
“Didn’t you ask this question in your conscience? What kind of deputy are you? How can you represent the people? Don’t you know that protecting a thief is a bigger theft?” Kılıçdaroğlu added. (2)
“The world has never witnessed such immorality. Is there any religion, sect, tradition or holy book that accepts bribery as a gift and squander as a show of credibility?” said Kılıçdaroğlu. “I ask these nine persons: Do you have ethics, honor and pride?” (2)
Calling on AKP lawmakers
"Recalling that a final vote will take place at the General Assembly on whether or not the quartet of former ministers should be tried or not, Kılıçdaroğlu called on all AKP lawmakers to "listen to their conscience and vote accordingly."
“The vote will take place at the General Assembly. I have never criticized the AKP parliamentary group. Parliament is the legislative body where the will of the people is manifested. That’s why I call on every consciously-inclined lawmaker: Please, I plead; vote in what you believe and what you respect after appealing to your conscience. The vote you cast will make Turkey either respected or disrespected," he said." (2)
Kılıçdaroğlu: You will account for every penny you’ve stolen
"Kılıçdaroğlu also criticized the verdict of the parliamentary commission over his Twitter account, saying that innocent and honorable men do not fear being held accountable for their actions, underlining that a fear of facing the Supreme State Council indicates an acceptance of the alleged crimes.
Kılıçdaroğlu said: “Don’t think you can pull pranks on the people and that you have been acquitted [of your crimes] with your lies. You will account for every penny you have stolen.”
MHP leader Bahçeli: National conscience desecrated
MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli also criticized the government in his weekly address to the party caucus on Tuesday, saying, “As Prime Minister [Ahmet] Davutoğlu is busy ripping off arms like actors in horror films; those ministers with piles of evidence [of corruption and bribery] against them have been protected and the national conscience has been desecrated.”
Speaking directly to the four ex-ministers charged with corruption and bribery, Bahçeli said the ministers who were saved from being sent to the Supreme State Council will eventually be forced to face the consequences. “Turkey will no longer carry the weight of AK Party’s systematic blows to justice and morality,” he said. “No one can wave their finger at Parliament, which is the reflection of the national will,” he added.
Stating that the AK Party deputies in the investigation commission were taken into “persuasion rooms,” the opposition leader said, “A government that is illegitimate from head to toe cannot, must not, run the country.”
AK Party co-founder: Public opinion has ruled
Dengir Mir Mehmet Fırat, a co-founder of the AK Party, said: “The result was an expected one. The four former ministers have been on trial in public opinion and the verdict has been given.”
Fırat, who is also a former deputy chairman, said, “The trial has ended in the public opinion, without the possibility of an appeal. And that is what matters.”
BBP leader Destici: Commission did ministers no favors
Grand Unity Party (BBP) leader Mustafa Destici also commented on the commission’s verdict, saying: “They [the commission] did the ministers no favors. They took away the chance for them to acquit themselves.”
“It wasn’t a surprise verdict, it was a ruling that was expected. It is really very hard to say that the members of the commission from the government cast their votes without any pressure,” Destici added.
“The result shows us perfectly clearly just how political [politically motivated] the given verdict is. They didn’t do the [ex-] ministers any favors. If anything, they caused hurt by taking away the chance for the [ex-] ministers to absolve themselves,” the BBP leader concluded.
CHP İzmir deputy Aytun Çıray also had a few words to say about the commission and the verdict. “The members of the commission who are from the AK Party will not be able to face future generations out of shame — because politics is not a one-day event,” Çıray said.
Çıray, who is also on the CHP Party Council, stated that no one can cover up the truth. “Everyone is aware of the situation. Future generations will not look at these commission members in a good way. We are now waiting for the vote in Parliament,” he said.
CHP deputy: AK Party to be dirty so long as it covers up corruption
Addressing the matter, CHP İzmir deputy Mustafa Balbay said, “Whatever the decision of the commission today, it will be put to a vote in the General Assembly. The AK Party is trying to cover this up by wearing a clean shirt over a dirty one and saying, ‘I’m clean’.”
“These types of issues are like coughs; you may keep them inside but they will eventually come out,” he said." (1)