Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy leader Bülent Tezcan has accused the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) of dividing the country into two and excluding the opposition from July 15 commemoration events.
“The AKP is running a marginalization campaign over the July 15 commemorations,” Tezcan said after a Central Executive Board meeting on July 12.
The presidential program for the July 15 commemoration event in parliament is set to host President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Parliament Speaker İbrahim Kahraman, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım and opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli.
Tezcan criticized the government for “dividing the parliament.”
As part of weeklong commemorations, the parliament is slated to host two events, with one on July 15 where all party leaders will give speeches for 10 minutes each in a special session at the general assembly while the other will be in the early morning hours of July 16 in front of the parliament building.
“They have organized a special program in parliament under the presidency. The AKP leader, his deputy, the MHP leader, and the parliament speaker will speak but the leaders of other parties will not. No one has the right to divide the parliament,” Tezcan said.
“You do not have the right to make arbitrary choices in parliament by deciding on who gets to speak,” he added.
Stressing that all parties resisted against the coup on the night of July 15, Tezcan said the resistance was not led solely by the AKP.
“You cannot make it a veil that you use to cover up your own mistakes. We will not allow this,” Tezcan added.
CHP not invited
Stating that the CHP did not receive any information or invitations for the event on July 16, CHP deputy group leader Özgür Özel said a platform in the parliament’s garden was built without informing the opposition parties.
“If the AKP and the MHP will celebrate something, that date should be the July 20 state of emergency coup. They committed that together,” Özel said, calling the AKP’s post-coup measures “drastic” and as harsh as a “civil coup.”
CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu had already instructed his party across Turkey to attend commemorations throughout this week.
“Respond positively to calls from governors on the commemorations,” Kılıçdaroğlu told the heads of CHP organizations in 81 provinces at a meeting late on July 10.
Claiming that some veterans of the coup attempt had joined his justice march from Ankara to Istanbul Kılıçdaroğlu called on the CHP to attend the commemorations in order to stop the ruling AKP plans to “abuse them.”
Özel also criticized the reduction in the duration of speeches of the opposition leaders in parliament for the special session at the general assembly, stating that leaders should have one hour each to deliver their messages.
“It is against the parliament’s traditions,” Özel said in a letter sent to the parliament speaker’s office.
AKP lawmaker slams CHP
Meanwhile, AKP Aydın lawmaker Mehmet Erdem criticized CHP members for being absent on the night of July 15.
“Those who did not show up on the July 15 night, not even on 16, 17, or 18 are now at the front lines of the July 15 commemoration events. Their leaders along with FETÖ [Fethullahist Terrorist Organization] and their officials who called the treacherous July 15 coup attempt a ‘controlled coup’ are at the front line of the commemorations,” Erdem said on his official Twitter account.