CHP, HDP not invited to coup commemoration event in Turkish Parliament

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A general view of the Turkish Grand National Assembly. AFP PHOTO/ADEM ALTAN / AFP PHOTO / ADEM ALTAN

The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party have not been invited to an event in the Turkish Parliament organized by the Turkish Presidency to mark the first anniversary of a failed coup on July 15, 2016, the Cumhuriyet daily reported on Wednesday.

According to the report, an event is to be held by the presidency in the courtyard of the parliament building to commemorate the victims of the coup attempt. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Parliament Speaker İsmail Kahraman, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli are expected to deliver speeches at the event, while nobody from CHP and HDP is invited.

CHP group deputy chairman Özgür Özel said his party was not informed about the event.

“This is not right, July 15 is not their father’s property; it belongs to all of us. Only July 20 [the date when a state of emergency was declared in Turkey] is theirs. They can celebrate July 20 altogether.”

For a special session in Parliament on the first anniversary of the failed coup, party leaders were asked to submit their speech texts for simultaneous translation to a foreign audience.

The CHP refused to submit its speech text beforehand and asked for an extension of the 10-minute-long speech time.

The military coup attempt on July 15 killed over 240 people. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with Turkey’s President Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.

Fethullah Gülen, who inspired the movement, strongly denied having any role in the failed coup and called for an international investigation into it, but President Erdoğan — calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” — and the government initiated a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting participants of the Gülen movement in jails.

Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ announced on July 7, 2017 that at least 50,504 people have been arrested and 168,801 have been the subject of legal proceedings due to Gülen links since the coup attempt.

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