Turkish PM demands main opposition CHP leader apologize for ‘controlled coup’ comments

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Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım has blasted Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu over his “controlled coup” comments about the July 2016 coup attempt, accusing the main opposition leader of encouraging the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), widely believed to have been behind the thwarted coup.

“FETÖ, which attempted to take over Turkey on July 15 is being encouraged by Kılıçdaroğlu’s latest actions and rhetoric,” Yıldırım said in parliament while addressing ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputies on July 18.

“Those who have used such rhetoric, especially Kılıçdaroğlu, owe an apology to the nation,” Yıldırım said.

“I am warning you, be careful of the controlled souls. Do not get under their control,” he added, accusing Kılıçdaroğlu of being influenced and controlled by terrorist groups.

“Kılıçdaroğlu, who has given all the statements and done all the actions that would please FETÖ, is also pleasing those who have said they are relying on the PKK [outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party],” he added.

He also slammed Kılıçdaroğlu’s “justice march,” which he finalized with a massive rally in Istanbul on July 9 after walking from Ankara to Istanbul.

“In his so-called ‘justice march’ he even asked for freedom for the PKK’s political leg without a shame,” Yıldırım said, referring to the participation of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) in the 400-km march.

“To consolidate a malicious force, which emerged against the nation, to achieve political prosperity, and to make the calculations of vote and power is the lowest level to fall to in politics. Today, the main opposition leader has brought himself into this position,” he added.

Commission to investigate state of emergency procedures

Yıldırım announced that the commission established to investigate state of emergency procedures started to receive applications as of July 17, with 3,028 appeals sent to them.

“At least 1,189 of the 3,028 applications were approved by the governorships and institutions. We believe the total number of applications, including the repeated ones, will reach up to 120,000,” he added.

“All those applications sent to governorships and ministries will be evaluated,” he said.

Responding to criticisms directed at the government’s post-coup purge, Yıldırım said that “the innocents will not be punished along with the guilty ones.”

He added that if the commission will decide on the readmission of the applicant after the evaluation, the relevant institution will then be obliged to issue the readmission process of that person within 15 days. If the commission confirms the dismissal, then the applicant will be able to take the issue to relevant high courts.

The commission was established after applications to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) exceeded thousands and European institutions staunchly criticized Turkey’s legal system for not having a domestic legal avenue to which individuals could appeal regarding the state of emergency measures.

Yıldırım said the ECHR rejected applications after the establishment of the commission, set up in January, as it was deemed a domestic legal avenue.

“While the number of applications waiting in the ECHR was 24,600 on May 31, the number fell to 12,000 on June 30. In the following days, all of those applications will be rejected and the applications will be assessed by the commission,” Yıldırım added.

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