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CHP leader says arrest of politicians in Turkey possible at any time

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Leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has said since Turkey’s courts are no longer independent, it is possible for politicians including himself to be detained or arrested at any time.

Speaking to the Voice of Russia on Monday, Kılıçdaroğlu said politicians such as the late Prime Minister Bülent Ecevit and former CHP leader Deniz Baykal were arrested in Turkey during periods of oppression, adding that Turkey is going through similar circumstances today.

“We can be detained or arrested at any time and in any place because courts are no longer independent and they act on orders from the government. The political will, in other words the AKP [the Justice and Development Party], is using the judiciary to intimidate society. When there is such a picture, I don’t find it right to say that ‘nobody can touch me’,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.

His remarks came in the aftermath of the arrests of 10 deputies from the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) including the party’s co-chairs earlier this month. The HDP is the second largest opposition party in the Turkish Parliament. The arrested deputies face terrorism charges.

During the interview, Kılıçdaroğlu also said the AKP government definitely knew about a coup plot that was unsuccessfully staged on July 15.

Turkey experienced a failed coup on July 15 that claimed the lives of more than 240 people and injured a thousand others.

Kılıçdaroğlu said some reports have emerged suggesting that a military authority notified the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) about the coup attempt.

“These issues will be further clarified in the coming days. There are some developments that render concerns and suspicions [over the coup attempt] to be correct, but I don’t find it right to talk about them as if they were 100 percent accurate. It is for sure that the government knew of the coup attempt,” said Kılıçdaroğlu.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said in a statement after the coup attempt that he learned about the coup attempt on July 15 from his brother-in-law.

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