Kılıçdaroğlu says Erdoğan has occupied all state institutions

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Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, head of the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) (Evrim Aydin / Anadolu Agency)

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has said Turkish President and Chairman of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has occupied all state institutions by turning last year’s July 15 coup attempt into an opportunity.

Kılıçdaroğlu’s remarks came on Wednesday during a live broadcast on the NTV television channel.

“All institutions of the state have been occupied. There are two July 15: One of them is the July 15 of the people and Parliament. There is also the July 15 of the palace [Erdoğan’s presidential palace]. They turned July 15 into an opportunity. We are against the July 15 of the palace. The government is responsible [for the coup attempt]. … I want all its aspects to be revealed. We will not forgive those turning the July 15 of the people into an opportunity,” said Kılıçdaroğlu.

Criticizing the enforcement of government decrees under the state of emergency declared after the coup attempt, the CHP chair argued AKP government did not know how to govern a country.

“They can seize everyone’s property under KHK [government decrees], objecting to it is not possible. They invented collective crime. … Mothers are in jail, their children are growing up there with them. I am just an ordinary citizen in this country, and I am with those who are victims,” added Kılıçdaroğlu.

A total of 7,348 people, including 302 academics, were dismissed from state institutions by a government decree that went into effect on July 14.

Turkey has suspended or dismissed more than 150,000 judges, teachers, police and civil servants since the botched coup attempt that killed 249 people and wounded more than a thousand others. Immediately after the putsch AKP government and 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 them in custody.

Turkey’s Justice Ministry announced on July 13 that 50,510 people have been arrested and 169,013 have been the subject of legal proceedings on coup charges since the failed coup.

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