PES GRAVELY CONCERNED ABOUT RECENT ARRESTS IN TURKEY
on December 15, 2014 ·
The PES has closely followed the worrying events in Turkey, culminating in the arrest of at least 24 journalists and media workers yesterday.
“Freedom of speech and expression is an inalienable right within any democratic society”, says PES President Sergei Stanishev, “we believe that if Turkey wishes to continue on its path to the EU, it needs to show a genuine commitment to the core European values. We welcome the prompt intervention of the EU High Representative Federica Mogherini in this respect”.
“What is happening in Turkey shows once more the risk of a government extending its influence far beyond its mandate”, continues PES Deputy Secretary General Giacomo Filibeck, “with the upcoming elections in mind, we hope the Turkish government will take these concerns seriously”.
Turkish main opposition CHP calls for unity against AKP-led ‘media coup’
Kılıçdaroğlu suggested that Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu was unaware of the operation, the instructions for which were given by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. AA Photo
The leader of Turkey’s main opposition has called on all opposition groups to stand against the “coup plotted by the government against democracy,” following raids against members of the Gülen movement.
Republican People’s Party (CHP) head Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu also expressed concern that the mainstream media “could soon feel the government’s wrath.”
“All legal oddities witnessed during the Sept. 12 coup d’état are now being observed today. What the AKP [Justice and Development Party] is doing is a coup against democracy. We should all stand together, right and left, on the basis of freedoms,” Kılıçdaroğlu told daily Hürriyet on Dec. 15, adding that he feared the Dec. 14 raids, which were directed at media groups linked to the Gülen community, could soon be expanded to other mainstream media outlets.
“Those who want freedom in this country should come together. Democracy should be our common ground. If we come together on that ground and strengthen it, then it will be a lot easier for us to resolve our problems. Plus, we should also get the intellectuals of the modern world on our side,” he said.
Hinting that the Gülen community’s media had ignored some of the suffering in previous important cases such as Ergenekon and “Balyoz” (Sledgehammer), Kılıçdaroğlu called on the group to engage in “self-criticism.”
“At the point we have reached, the writers of the [Gülen] community and its media outlets should engage in self-criticism,” he said.
‘PM has no information about operation’
“The operation was announced by the president. The prime minister had no information [about it]. Shouldn’t he be aware of it?” Kılıçdaroğlu said, questioning the prime minister’s authority.
Kılıçdaroğlu said the operation was designed by the ruling party to consolidate its power in Parliament, while calling on AKP lawmakers not to fall into the same trap that they fell into in approving a controversial recent security bill that extends considerable new authority to the police.
“I am calling on all AKP lawmakers who have consciences: Don’t be deceived. Democracy is needed for everyone,” he said.