Kılıçdaroğlu’s arrest not on his agenda, says Erdoğan

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan greets citizens during a mass opening ceremony in Isparta, Turkey on August 12, 2017. AFP

Responding to remarks made by main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu over the possibility of his arrest, Turkish President and Chairman of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said Kılıçdaroğlu’s arrest is not on his agenda.

Erdoğan’s remarks came on Monday during a press conference at Istanbul Atatürk Airport before a trip to Jordan.

“I don’t see these things as worth considering. Kılıçdaroğlu is preparing for something that is not certain to happen. He is making up these things to be able to keep himself on the public agenda. I don’t have anything like that on my agenda,” said Erdoğan.

Following Erdoğan implying that Kılıçdaroğlu could stand trial in connection to the case of arrested CHP deputy Enis Berberoğlu, Kılıçdaroğlu said: “When you look at the past, just as coup leaders could arbitrarily apprehend anybody and easily put them behind bars, our dictator thinks he has the same authority. ‘I will make the arrest, the judiciary is under my orders, I can send him to jail,’ is how he thinks. We will not be intimidated. You might ask where this self-confidence is coming from — it is because there no crime has been committed. The Constitutional Court ruled on that [espionage] case, saying it was not a state secret and that the information was open to public knowledge.”

Berberoğlu was arrested in June immediately after he was handed down a prison sentence of 25 years for leaking information for a news report on National Intelligence Organization (MİT) trucks transporting weapons to jihadists in Syria.

Underlining that he is ready for everything, Kılıçdaroğlu said his arrest would increase his party’s power.

“Every coup creates its own laws and courts; his police can detain and arrest as well. It is not right to see these [Erdoğan’s] words as unserious. As I said before, no one’s life or property is secure in Turkey. When I say no one, it includes me too,” added Kılıçdaroğlu.

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