CHP General Chair Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said he had conducted a study prior to the election into which principles relating to constitutional amendment the parties constituting the Nation Alliance could agree on. Noting that those conducting this study were headed by Prof. Dr. İbrahim Kaboğlu, who has been dismissed under a decree with the force of law, Kılıçdaroğlu said, “So, our preparation will not start following the election of Muharrem İnce as President. It has in fact already started. A constitutional study will be made within the framework of these principles. We more or less have an agreement text to hand at the moment.” Noting the propaganda method the AKP was relying on was, “Vote for the AKP. If the CHP comes to power it will cut off your social benefits,” Kılıçdaroğlu said, “This is absolutely black propaganda. We will give larger benefits than the social benefits they give.”
Kılıçdaroğlu replied to Cumhuriyet’s questions following his visits to Çorum and Amasya.
“This is a confession”
- What is your take on the Constitutional Court dismissing the CHP’s application?
Moving ballot boxes in particular is incorrect. This amounts to confessing that a country is going through a process involving not conducting an election on part of its own territory. This is a confession along the lines, “We as the government cannot ensure security in a certain region of the country. We cannot ensure security for either citizens or ballot boxes. People should come and vote elsewhere.” I do not find it correct, either, for the Constitutional Court to pass a ruling that will strengthen a resolve of this nature.
- Polemics are being conducted over Fethullah Gülen’s extradition. You applied as the CHP and wanted to see the documents but this did not happen.
If there is a request for the file in connection with extradition, this must be opened not just to CHP parliamentarians but also to bar associations. If there is a shortcoming, this shortcoming must be rectified speedily. There is talk of a file running into 85 binders in connection with Gülen’s extradition. There was no need for 85 binders. In the end, had details of the event experienced on 15 July been sent, Gülen’s extradition could have been secured far more easily.
- What kind of appeal do you make to the USA with reference to Fethullah Gülen?
Turkey truly experienced one of the painful events of its democratic history on 15 July. The way things stack up is that the basic perpetrator of and responsible person for the affair is indeed Gülen. So, the responsible person for an event that caused the death of many people in a country and caused serious problems as far as democracy is concerned must be extradited to Turkey and be tried in Turkey through democratic means.
- Some comment with reference to Erdoğan that there will be elections until he is elected. The word in the lobbies is that an early election will be held again a short time later.
Turkey cannot sustain a repeat early election. The economy cannot sustain it.
- Well, what about the possibility of there being no election?
No, that is a non-starter. From this time on there is no going back. The elections will happen, Erdoğan will lose and retreat into his corner. Mr İnce will take up the post of presidency. The Nation Alliance will secure the majority in parliament and Turkey will breathe free. There will remain no office that enables Erdoğan to take an early election decision. Mr İnce will in fact come and enter office. Who will take an early election decision then?
- Does Mr İnce have the makings of a dictator in your opinion?
Mr İnce will be a very good democrat.
“He has nothing left to say”
- Some say that Erdoğan is speaking less compared to previous elections. Is that how you see it?
There is not much left for him to say. What can he say with reference to the future? This is the point to which he has brought Turkey in sixteen years. There is pain, blood, tears, suicide and people who burn themselves. This is the state of affairs he has created. Turkey must extricate itself from this state of affairs. And, to this end, Erdoğan must retire from politics.
- You have spoken of honourable politics. Could you expand on that a little?
Politics that gives account to the people and informs society of how much which investment has cost. We call politics that does not lie, is not self-seeking, does not maintain cronies and directly serves citizens honourable politics.
- How long a period do you envisage for a return to the parliamentary system after having won the election?
After Muharrem İnce has become president, there will certainly be a need to call out to the political parties over the creation of a democratic parliamentary system. Political parties within and outside parliament, civil society organisations and professional organisations will sit down for the first time in the history of the republic with no perception of being under tutelage and will thrash out a constitution of their own free will. Once agreement has been reached on this constitutional amendment, this will have to pass through parliament. The creation of a democratic parliamentary system with the principle of the separation of powers calls for a new constitution.
“Our preparation has started”
- You said in your alliance discussions that there must be agreement over the aftermath of the election as much as the principles involved in the alliance. Have you discussed this with the other parties of the alliance?
Prior to the election, a study was conducted on the principles over which the parties constituting the Nation Alliance could agree. Heading those who conducted this study was İbrahim Kaboğlu. So, our preparation will not start following the election of Muharrem İnce as President. Our preparation has in fact already started. A constitutional study will be made within the framework of these principles. We more or less have an agreement text to hand at the moment.
- You established the foundations for this on the foundations for the “No” block, didn’t you?
- What is your take on your election pledges being stolen?
This time, as the AK Party has previously announced its election pledges, they have no prospect of lifting the basic principles out of our election manifesto.
“THE CHP WILL NOT CUT OFF SOCIAL BENEFITS. IT WILL RATHER INCREASE THEM.”
- You were the first to articulate the pledge of a 3600 supplementary scale for police officers.
They do not think of the 3600 for police officers like we do. They are introducing a university requirement. We want it to cover everyone who is in the policing profession. It is necessary to change the distribution of income particularly in favour of the working populace. Not just for producers and farmers. There must be an equitable distribution. Currently, a large portion of the income created by society goes to usurers, those who secure interest income and the rentier class. They have raised interest rates again. More interest will be paid abroad. Everyone from new-born children to workers, civil servants and pensioners will pay this interest. The people will pay taxes to the government and the government will pay a large portion of the taxes it collects to the rentier class in interest.
There is a propaganda method they are relying on. People they give social benefits are told, “Vote for the AKP. If the CHP comes to power it will cut off your social benefits.” This is absolutely black propaganda. We will give larger benefits than the social benefits they give. We will create further employment for 210,000 people. This is a stupendous figure and we are intent on achieving this. Within five years, we intend to increase per-capita income - it is currently around 9,000 dollars - to 15,000 dollars. This amounts to Turkey exiting the middle-income trap. We will totally write off interest on farmers’ debt. There are 1.644 million people on monthly pensions of less than 1500 lira. We will raise the minimum monthly pension to 1500 lira. We will in any case give pensioners bonuses equivalent to two payments. The minimum wage will be 2,200 lira net as of 2019 and will not be subject to income tax. There will thus be no extra burden on employers. Poor families will be given a 1,000-lira monthly payment from Family Insurance. This payment will be made into bank accounts. We will relieve small businesspeople of withholding tax on rents.