CHP chair not to attend July 15 ceremony after his speech removed from schedule

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Leader of Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu walks with a placard reading 'Justice' during a protest march in Ankara on June 15, 2017, after CHP lawmaker Enis Berberoğlu was sentenced to 25 years in jail for handing secret information to a newspaper. Thousands of supporters from Turkey's main opposition party took to the streets of Ankara on Thursday to protest the jailing of one of its MPs, vowing to march to his jail in Istanbul. / AFP PHOTO / ADEM ALTAN

Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu is not going to attend an early Sunday morning ceremony in Parliament to observe the first anniversary of a coup attempt last July because his speech was removed from the schedule.

A special ceremony is to be held in Parliament at 2.32 a.m. Sunday morning since the parliament building was attacked by coup plotters at that time last year. Despite an earlier announcement, Kılıçdaroğlu was excluded from the program, although President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will deliver a speech as planned.

After Kılıçdaroğlu led a 25-day March of Justice from Ankara to İstanbul, Erdoğan had accused him of taking sides with terrorist organizations.

Earlier on Saturday, during a special session to commemorate the first anniversary of the botched coup attempt of July 15, Kılıçdaroğlu questioned the failure of the army and intelligence heads to testify to the Coup Investigation Commission.

Criticizing the written testimonies from head of the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) Hakan Fidan and the Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar, the main opposition leader said it is not acceptable for them not to testify in person.

“On whose order were they prevented from testifying to the commission? On what grounds?” Kılıçdaroğlu asked during the session in which all party heads addressed the legislature.

In addition, Kılıçdaroğlu claimed that information provided by MİT on the coup attempt has not been satisfactory. He asked why Adil Öksüz, a prime suspect of the coup with alleged ties to the Gülen movement, was not monitored by intelligence.

Kılıçdaroğlu urged the clarification of the political leg of the junta as he claimed it has deliberately been left in the dark.

President Erdoğan has held the Gülen movement responsible for the coup since the first hours of the attempt, although Fethullah Gülen denies any involvement.

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