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Kılıçdaroğlu’s reply to Erdoğan, who was gunning for the Justice March: We were up for everything

Republican People’s Party General Chair Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu replied to Prof. Dr. Emre Kongar and ABC-Tele1 Editor-in-Chief Merdan Yanardağ's questions on the twenty-second day of the Justice March.
Yayınlanma tarihi: 07 Temmuz 2017 Cuma, 15:59

Republican People’s Party General Chair Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu appeared as Prof. Dr. Emre Kongar and ABC-Tele1 Editor-in-Chief Merdan Yanardağ's guest on the twenty-second day of the Justice March. The CHP leader responded to the Yanardağ-Kongar duo’s questions in his final interview before entering Istanbul.
Republican People’s Party General Chair Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu replied to Merdan Yanardağ and Emre Kongar's questions on Tele1 screens. Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu stressed that broad sections of society were standing by the Justice March and stated that society was thirsting for justice.
The CHP leader, noting that the Yenikapı Spirit lasted five days, declared that the AKP did not keep its promises in the subsequent period.
Kılıçdaroğlu said, ‘Following 15 July a space for compromise emerged. I went to the palace and the prime-minister came to our headquarters and there would have been a strong parliamentary system. I went to Yenikapı and read a twelve-point democracy declaration, and Erdoğan congratulated me on my speech. But, then what happened? It lasted five days, this business. They passed the state of emergency resolution on 20 July. More than a thousand academics were expelled from universities and the number of imprisoned journalists increased. Two teachers have been thrown in jail for asking for their jobs.’
The key points from Kılıçdaroğlu’s comments:
* We are determined to change many things after this march. There are serious restrictions on justice and freedom. A state of fear has been imposed on society. Journalists, university teachers, citizens ... nobody can speak. Society is in need of a common voice. There was a need for something that would give voice to society and the CHP was best placed to do this and we took it on.
* This march is not a CHP march but a march of everyone who is thirsting for justice. We are open to participation by all political parties and people from all walks have joined in. All sections of society that want justice have found their place on this march. We will carry on and will keep raising this bar for as long as we find the support of society. The arrival of a strong parliamentary system will herald the arrival of justice. Universities will become free then.
* There are without doubt wide circles who favour justice, democracy and freedom. Different circles on the right and left and in the centre. We are determined to continue on our way while strengthening the common denominator. We are getting support from all sections of society. We will continue on our way with resolve. The basic episode that gives meaning to this march is the 20 July civilian coup. Following 15 July, a space for compromise over democracy emerged in Turkey. Everyone was opposed to the coup. I went to the palace and the prime-minister visited headquarters. A common denominator over democracy emerged. I participated at the Yenikapı rally and I presented a text setting out our opposition to the coup in twelve points. Erdoğan congratulated me but it did not last long – five days. The state of emergency resolution passed through parliament on 20 July. University teachers found themselves out of a job. Journalists are in jail, TV stations and newspapers have been closed and two teachers who were on hunger strike have been put in jail. The number of journalists has exceeded one thousand. Access to the judiciary by victims of injustice has been restricted. There were such severe violations of human rights.
* This march has courted the support of society. Environmentalists, sub-contracted workers, university students, journalists, politicians ... they have all taken part on the march. This means that the people of this country are thirsting for justice. The Iranian philosopher Saadi put it so well: ‘All the rivers of the world will not suffice to quench the thirst of a person thirsting for justice.’ If all the rivers in the world will not meet one person’s need for justice, with eighty million thirsting for justice in the country, where are we to find these rivers? If, on this march, we court the support of society and reach Istanbul having applauded the protests made and without as much as a nosebleed, this will be a huge success. There have been provocations. It has happened on the way. In fact, Erdoğan explicitly gunned for the march by asking why they weren’t doing this. But, we applauded. We said, ‘Right, law, justice.’ Everyone is saying this.
* We were up for everything and were going to go to Istanbul even if they imposed prohibitions or imposed obstacles. The country needs justice. Society needs to be ridded of the state of fear that has been imposed on it. Society has now come to the point at which it can march. It now says it can seek its rights.
* Some people may create incidents or attack. There will never be an assault in response to what is done to us. We are firmly resolute about that. There were provocations against us on the march but we had to refrain from responding. We had to stage a peaceful march. Our Istanbul headquarters drew up a twelve-point text. It was distributed to the marchers. Tens of thousands of people remained faithful to every line of that text. Stones were thrown, dung was tipped, insults were made and they wanted to openly attack. We applauded and chanted. We said, ‘Right, law, justice.’ You cannot actually control ten thousand people but this shows that ten thousand people are thirsting for justice and want to reach Istanbul without creating a problem.
* We find the result of the 16 April referendum to be illegitimate. This was something done by the gang inside the Supreme Election Board and I exclude one honourable person. We quite simply say that they do not deserve the name judges.
* We are working on a new constitution in the interests of social compromise – not just us, quite a few circles are doing so. We are fighting to re-establish a strong parliamentary system. There is a need to manifest Turkey’s peace-loving democracy through the new constitution, being a social compromise document. We can do this and if those who do not stand side by side have compromised over democracy this is a huge step. We must increase this. We must increase the ‘no’ that exceeds fifty per cent. We must increase it so that they cannot change the result regardless of what fraud there is.
* This justice march is a summons to society and the world. We will explain why we staged this march and what our expectations are in Maltepe.
* Turkey is slipping away from the world. It has no friends apart from Qatar. It has slipped away from the Middle East and is slipping away from Europe. Turkey no longer has any strength.
* The 20 July coup created the 16 April referendum. They created their own laws and, having made illegitimate amendments, said they would issue complying legislation. If you want to be a member of the EU, you will meet certain standards. The other members meet them. But, Turkey says, ‘Make me a member but I will not meet the standards.’ This is not on and it will not make you a member, of course. Europe must not see its relations with Turkey from the AKP’s window. There are broad masses in this country who defend democracy. They must act to bring pressure to bear, rather than relations being suspended. Come, ask why it is so, let us sit and discuss. Speak and tell them to accept EU standards. Suspension of relations works to the AKP’s advantage. How lovely to say that we do not accept them and they do not want us, either, and I am a single-man regime, anyhow, so I will do as I please. They consciously wish to put an end to it. The AKP knew that this referendum would not find acceptance in the world and the EU and that the single-man regime was a dictatorship, but insisted on it. It was accepted by the gang inside the Supreme Election Board. The constitution and democracy were suspended. The judiciary is used as the ruling party’s cudgel. There were martial law courts in the 12 March period and there was evidence in the files, then the Ergenekon and Sledgehammer trials came and false evidence was created. Now, following the 20 July coup, nobody looks whether there is evidence in the file. The file is devoid of content, but eyes turn to the palace, saying, ‘How many years’ imprisonment shall I give?’ It says, ‘Give twenty-five.’ There is no longer any need even for false evidence and this blocks access itself to the judiciary.
* Let me give an example: Two reporters from Sözcü newspaper are in jail and the court passed an order for detention to continue as the evidence has not been gathered. If there is no evidence why are you detaining them? But, the one at the top does not permit this and says that these people are to be in detention.
* We await everyone at the big meeting in Maltepe and we have sent letters of invitation to all political parties. Invitations have been sent to nearly ten thousand civil society organisations. We will defend justice all together.
* The PKK allegations are most ridiculous allegations. I did not appoint provincial governors when the trenches were being dug, I did not sit side by side with them in Dolmabahçe, and I did not tell commanders not to touch them when bombs were being placed. Justice is necessary for everyone but nobody can come on the march under a party name. Let them say what they like, Turkey’s most fundamental problem is the Kurdish problem and we will solve it. This problem is a problem of governance, justice and democracy.
* They are supposedly placing my and Fethullah Gülen’s pronouncements side by side and studying them. I am greatly satisfied. They cannot establish whether or not there are aspects we share. Because there are none, and cannot be. They installed them in the state. They surrendered the judiciary through the 2010 referendum that was previously held, and the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors was surrendered. Then Sledgehammer and Ergenekon happened. And now the judiciary has been surrendered to the AKP.
* The event that underlies 16 April and 15 July is the 2010 referendum. There is no doubt about this matter. You know how they talked about walking towards the same goal. Two tightrope artists cannot walk on one rope and these two artists were Erdoğan and Gülen. Gülen fell and Erdoğan remained.
* This march is not for Enis Berberoğlu, but for the jailed parliamentarians, the dismissed university teachers, the imprisoned journalists and the two teachers who are in jail for going on hunger strike. For those seeking their rights unable to obtain justice, and to tell all sections of society about the injustice.
* It will not end – we will carry on for as long as injustice continues.
* We will struggle, sometimes in factories and sometimes in parliament, sometimes in the street and sometimes outside parliament, and we will bring justice to the country.
* I made no consultations when I set off and my wife and son also came. My daughters came, too, and we marched as a family. We spoke about it among ourselves but made no proposal about walking together. They came of their own volition and we walked together. Everyone takes stock of society and they see the injustice, too.
*  We will increase hope!

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Cumhuriyet Arşivi Gazete Kupürlerinde:

Emre Kongar, Enis Berberoğlu, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, Fethullah Gülen