Turkey’s main opposition leader has harshly criticized the European Union, suggesting that it has “hypocritical” policies toward the full membership candidate country and had a responsibility in developments leading up to the building of an “oppressive regime” under a “one-man rule.”
“The European Union’s postponement of its progress report about Turkey until after the elections was wrong. The European Union is conducting hypocritical politics vis-à-vis Turkey. They are using a critical language about the government behind closed doors and they are saying different things when they come out of the door,” Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, leader of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), was quoted as saying during a meeting with a group of journalists in Istanbul on Nov. 5.
“This stance does not comply with Europe’s ethical values either,” Kılıçdaroğlu said in remarks published by daily Hürriyet on Nov. 6, just days after the Nov. 1 snap elections that the Justice and Development Party (AKP) won in a landslide victory.
“The AKP is in quest of legitimacy in the face of civilized world. It is ready to give all concessions to Europe for gaining this legitimacy. Europe is aware of this and wants to take advantage of it,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.
“At the time, I told the European Union that constitutional amendments in 2010 would take Turkey to an oppressive regime. However, they supported it, saying democracy will proceed. But as a result of this, one-man rule has been built in Turkey. Therefore, the support lent in 2010 by the European Union to the government also has a role in building of this regime. They have noticed this now but ‘He who grabbed the horse is long past Üsküdar,’” he said, using a Turkish idiom that means it is too late.
The CHP leader was referring to a set of reforms that were voted on in a Sept. 12, 2010 referendum, which were carried out as part of Turkey’s bid for full EU membership.
Kılıçdaroğlu also commented on a pro-government journalist’s call for dismissal of certain journalists working for the Doğan Group, which also owns Hürriyet daily.
“A pro-government journalist is trying to design newspapers even before the ink of [Prime Minister] Ahmet Davutoğlu’s balcony speech has dried,” Kılıçdaroğlu said, referring to Davutoğlu’s speech where thousands of people waited for hours in the cold to hear him speak from the balcony of the AKP headquarters in Ankara early Nov. 2.
With the AKP widely accused of anti-democratic steps in recent years, Davutoğlu vowed to protect the rights of all 78 million of Turkey’s people.
“These demands [for the dismissal of journalists] are blow to democracy. It shows that the ‘Goebbels’ process has begun,” Kılıçdaroğlu said, referring to Joseph Goebbels who served as the minister of propaganda and national enlightenment under Adolf Hitler.
“Who is encouraging this person? If it is Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, then it would contradict his balcony speech. If it is President [Recep Tayyip Erdoğan], then a more perilous situation would emerge. It is an unprecedented incident that a journalist asks for dismissal of his colleagues. Davutoğlu should say ‘Who are you to dare?’ if he was sincere in his balcony speech. He should call the boss of that newspaper [for which thatjournalist is working for] and ask for a correction of those remarks,” he said.
Hürriyet Daily News, November/06/2015