Leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has accused the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government of staging a civilian coup on July 20 and introducing practices that are worse than those of the Sept. 12, 1980 military regime.
Speaking at his party’s parliamentary group meeting on Tuesday, Kılıçdaroğlu said the AKP staged a civilian coup on July 20 when it declared emergency rule in the country in the aftermath of a failed coup attempt on July 15.
The CHP leader explained how one of the 64 founders of the AKP, Fatma Bostan Ünsal, has become a victim of government practices in the aftermath of the coup as she is one of thousands of academics suspended from university jobs through controversial government decrees.
Noting that Ünsal’s husband, Ahmet Faruk Ünsal, is the head of the Association of Human Rights and Solidarity for Oppressed Peoples (Mazlumder), Kılıçdaroğlu quoted him, saying: “During the Feb. 28 [1997 military coup], the academic world was closed to us, but we were able to express our views freely. Today, we can’t speak like that. When we talk about the injustices we face, our friends see this as betrayal.”
Kılıçdaroğlu said dictatorship aside, the AKP regime is even worse than the Sept. 12 regime.
Since the coup attempt, the AKP government has jailed thousands of people including journalists, academics and businesspeople on coup charges while dozens of media outlets in the country have been closed down on the grounds that they had links to terror groups.