The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) will do anything to stay in power, including committing political murder, Turkey's main opposition leader has said.
“Turkey is step by step sliding towards an authoritarian regime” Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu told a group of reporters late on March 12 in the Seferihisar district of Aegean İzmir province.
“The AKP is currently in a position that it may do everything not to leave power, including [committing] political murder” he said, adding, “Because the party knows the cost of dropping out of power.”
Kılıçdaroğlu has been criticizing the AKP, and especially President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, over the diminishing fundamental rights and freedoms in the country and their efforts to shift the country's current parliamentary system to a presidential one.
“Turkey is on the verge of grave danger. This is a problem not only for the CHP but for everybody” the main opposition leader told reporters. “I'm deeply concerned with the path the country is headed down, and I can say this here freely because I personally shared my concerns with [Prime Minister Ahmet] Davutoğlu. Turkey is being administrated by third class cadres; the merit system in the state has been destroyed. I have serious concerns about who holds the power within state institutions. The Turkish Republic, unfortunately, has turned into an AKP state.”
The CHP leader again slammed Erdoğan for his recent attacks on the Constitutional Court after it ruled for the release of arrested journalists Can Dündar and Erdem Gül.
“A mentality of democracy and a mentality of belief are imposed on the citizens” Kılıçdaroğlu said. “If you oppose, you are labeled a traitor. This is not democracy, this is just a game. And everybody wants us to make things right. We must, and it will have a price. We are ready to pay the price.”
Kılıçdaroğlu said the priority for Turkey should be democracy and freedom, but the citizens have different concerns.
“The most urgent problem for the citizens in the east and southeast is security, while the people in Central Anatolia and the Black Sea are troubled with their mounting debts” he said. “When you say ‘democracy and freedom,' they ask, ‘how will I finish this month with the money I have?' Democracy is not a major concern for them since they are struggling just to survive.”