The Republican People’s Party (CHP) has called on the Turkish people to use their right to democratically resist in light of the growing undemocratic moves of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government, citing the arrest of opposition leaders and Cumhuriyet journalists as a major blow against democracy and human rights.
“The [presidential] palace and the AKP executive who aided and harbored FETÖ [Fethullahist Terror Organization], PKK [the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party] and ISIL [the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant] terrorist organizations are major threats to the survival and democracy of our country,” a written statement issued by the CHP’s Party Assembly said on Nov. 7.
The statement slammed the government for attacking the values of the republic.
“This threat gives our citizens the right to resist democratically. All of our citizens who love their country, who believe in democracy and the need to protect basic rights and liberties should unite to defeat this major threat to our republic,” the statement read.
The CHP Party Assembly gathered in an extraordinary session on Nov. 6 in order to shape a road map following the arrests of daily Cumhuriyet journalists and Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) lawmakers.
“The AKP rule has sidelined social consensus, and continued its attacks against democratic, secular and social principles of the rule of law and the core values of the Republic of Turkey,” it said.
‘A dark and authoritarian coup’
The CHP criticized the government for controlling the judiciary, saying: “At this point, Turkey is experiencing a dark and authoritarian coup of the [Presidential] Palace in the guise of their struggle against FETÖ. The existing political situation is a threat to the freedom of our public and the survival of our country.”
The opposition party has submitted a list of demands for the government, under four articles. Their first enquiry is for the government to dismiss the ongoing court case against Cumhuriyet journalists, declaring the case to be irrational and unlawful.
The second article urges the government to conduct an effective investigation into the July 15 coup attempt and ensure the legal bodies conduct fair trails for everybody, while also asking the government to monitor the authorities responsible for human rights violations against detainees under investigation.
Third, it criticized the ruling party for aiding terrorism by following the wrong policy in the struggle against the PKK. The party stated that the peace process should have been carried out under the roof of parliament with elected representatives rather than the PKK, while also denouncing the arrest of HDP lawmakers on the ground that it violates the constitution and is legally unprecedented.
The opposition party lastly urged the government to stop interfering in schools, universities and NGOs and to cease restricting freedom of expression, assembly and enterprise.