Opposition leader: Polarizing language is no way to fight against coup

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Pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş spoke at the anti-coup rally organized by his party in İstanbul, emphasizing that using a polarizing language is not the way to fight military coup.

HDP held a “No to coups, democracy now” rally to condemn July 15 failed military coup attempt in the Sultangazi district on Saturday.

HDP co-leader Demirtaş criticized President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s language and attitude after the coup attempt. “Disregarding the law and using a polarizing language that can trigger disintegration of the society is not the way to fight military coup,” Demirtaş said.

“In the name of taking precautions against the coup, they do everything coup plotters would have done. Is this any way to fight against coups?” Demirtaş also asked.

Referring to the state of emergence declared on July 20, Demirtaş said: “What these people fighting against the coup deserve is freedom. They do not deserve the state of emergency, they deserve democracy.”

A group of soldiers attempted a military coup at around 10 p.m. on July 15, with tanks rolling onto the streets of Ankara and İstanbul and soldiers blocking the Bosphorus Bridge and the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge. The military’s claim of a takeover was announced by the state broadcaster TRT after rebel soldiers raided its building. The anchorwoman said the military imposed martial law and declared a curfew until further notice.

Over 200 people, including civilians, were killed in clashes between police and rebel soldiers overnight. The Parliament, the presidential palace and the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) headquarters were struck by military helicopters.

The Turkish government managed to suppress the coup attempt and launched a large-scale crackdown across the country on media, public servants, judges, prosecutors and teachers, along with rebels within the army. Massive purges in various government bodies gained momentum after a state of emergency, which concentrates power formally into the hands of the president by allowing him and his cabinet to make laws by fiat, was declared on July 20.

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