Leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has said Turkey experienced two coups in 2016: the resignation of former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, and declaration of a state of emergency, as well as a military coup attempt on July 15.
In an interview published in the Hürriyet daily on Monday, the CHP leader said the resignation of Davutoğlu from the prime ministry although his party received nearly 50 percent of the nationwide vote in the general elections of Nov. 1, 2015 was a coup.
“The first coup was the one staged by the presidential palace [a reference to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan] on May 4, 2016. The leader of a political party who managed to get 49.5 percent of the vote was invited to the presidential palace, a resignation letter was taken from his hand and he was shown the door,” said Kılıçdaroğlu referring to Davutoğlu’s resignation upon the demand of Erdoğan.
The second coup was the declaration of a state of emergency on July 20 in the aftermath of a failed military coup attempt on July 15, according to Kılıçdaroğlu.
During the state of emergency, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government has pressed ahead with many controversial decrees, which have the force of law and are not required to be approved by Parliament. Through these decrees, thousands of people have been purged from state bodies and hundreds of media outlets have been closed down in the country among other things over coup charges.
As for the July 15 coup attempt, which claimed the lives of 240 people and injured a thousand others when a group of generals and officers in the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) attempted to overthrow the government, Kılıçdaroğlu said: “The July 15 was a controlled coup attempt because there was the need for a pretext for the July 20 coup.”