CHP leader says he condemns July 20 coup in reference to state of emergency

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CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu

Leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has criticized an ongoing state of emergency declared on July 20, 2016 shortly after a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016 and described it as a “coup.”

Speaking on Monday in Parliament, which convened on the occasion of April 23, National Sovereignty and Children’s Day, Kılıçdaroğlu said he strongly condemns the “July 20 coup,” in reference to the state of emergency that is still in effect.

Kılıçdaroğlu’s remarks attracted a negative reaction from ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) deputies, who began to clap as a sign of protest.

The state of emergency was declared for three months on July 20, 2016. It was extended for another three months on Oct. 19, 2016, Jan.19, 2017, April 19, 2017, July 21, 2017, Oct. 16 2017 and Jan. 18, 2018. Emergency rule was extended for another three months last Wednesday for the seventh time.

Under emergency rule, the government has pressed ahead with many controversial decrees that have the force of the law and are not required to be approved by Parliament. In line with these decrees, more than 150,000 people have been purged from state bodies on coup charges.

In the meantime, the İYİ (Good) Party attended Monday’s session in Parliament as a party group for the first time after 15 CHP deputies resigned from their party over the weekend and joined the İYİ Party as part of a tactical move to enable the new party to run in snap presidential and parliamentary elections on June 24.

The İYİ Party previously had five deputies in Parliament. According the Turkish elections law, only political parties that have 20 deputies in Parliament or have established local branches in half the provinces and have held a grand congress six months before the election date can run in the elections.

The move came days after a secret meeting between CHP leader Kılıçdaroğlu and İYİ Party Chairwoman Meral Akşener for a possible alliance in the upcoming elections.

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