The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is proceeding on its “presidency road” without worrying about individual concerns and who will lead the party after the elections, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on June 21.
Speaking to his party’s Istanbul provincial members, Erdoğan said the AKP would continue on its road regardless of who will lead it.
“Whoever our presidential candidate is, the AKP’s future will be the last thing we are worried about. The AKP is a party with borders defined by principles, not by individuals. It exists with the consciousness of a cause,” he said during an address at a provincial AKP Advisory Council meeting in Istanbul.
The prime minister added that arguing over who will become the chair of the party was a “betrayal to the mission.”
“Are we following individuals? Today, there is Tayyip Erdoğan. Do I have a guarantee for next month? We are undergoing a new test. We will see who is following the cause and who is following the chair,” he said.
“Whoever says, ‘Without me there will be no cause,’ has great arrogance,” Erdoğan added.
Erdoğan also commented on the recent releases of convicts in the Balyoz (Sledgehammer) coup plot case, saying this situation became possible thanks to the AKP-supported 2010 constitutional referendum, which foresaw individual applications to the Constitutional Court.
“Those who said no [in the 2010 referendum] have today received the result of the ‘yes’ votes. We don’t expect thanks. It’s enough for them to know who’s fighting for democracy in this country,” he added, claiming that if it was not for the AKP, the defendants could only have applied for compensation at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).
On June 18, Turkey’s top court delivered a landmark ruling, deciding that the rights of a majority of the convicted suspects in the Balyoz coup plot case were violated, thus paving the way for a retrial.
The Constitutional Court merged 230 separate individual appeals that were filed by the convicts, and ruled unanimously that their rights had been violated concerning “digital data and the defendants’ testimonies,” obliging local courts for a re-trial of the suspects in order to eliminate the violations.
Speaking in Istanbul, Erdoğan also criticized the fact that 11 police officers, detained as a part of an investigation into illegal wiretapping of his Prime Ministry office, have all now been released.
He said the perpetrators were released with judicial controls “while all documents and crime tools are clear.”
“I have an objection. How would you respond to those wiretapping your bedroom if you accept wiretapping of the prime minister as normal?” Erdoğan said.