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Turkey’s main opposition leader says the nation paying the price for coup attempt

Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu

Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), said on Saturday that since the declaration of emergency rule in Turkey following a coup attempt on July 15, the nation has been paying the price, in reference to a massive purge that has affected over a million people.

Addressing the provincial representatives of his party in Kahramanmaraş, Kılıçdaroğlu urged them to follow up on the victims of the massive purges across the country while also asking the government to rule with justice instead of hatred.

Kılıçdaroğlu said the nation, including teachers, academics, employers, industrialists, judges and prosecutors, are paying a heavy price for a coup they were not responsible for. “Did these people perpetrate the coup?” asked Kılıçdaroğlu, while saying that the current situation is serious due to the massive purge in the country.

“I told the prime minister not to jail journalists as this would be perceived as a counter-coup,” Kılıçdaroğlu further stated. He also mentioned the privates who were imprisoned and said that instead of them, the commander who gave the orders should have been arrested.

Criticizing the government for shutting down schools and universities for their affiliation with the Gülen movement, Kılıçdaroğlu asked: “What’s the mistake of the students?“ He also pointed out that people were dismissed from civil service without any court decision or due process.


Kılıçdaroğlu further argued that the government is taking revenge for December 17 and 25, 2013, when a large-scale corruption scandal implicating high-ranking officials and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s family emerged. “In whose house were dollars were found? In the houses of innocent people? We saw who ripped the nation off,” Kılıçdaroğlu said in reaction to the vendetta of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government.

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