Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said Turkey needs an environment of social consensus and urged for a new constitution.
“As this country’s people, thinkers, academics and civil society organizations, we have to come together to work on a constitution that has the consensus of the majority. Turkey needs a social consensus and a new constitution,” Kılıçdaroğlu told a group of journalists at the “justice congress” on Aug. 27.
“This social consensus is very important. If we say civil authority and civil administration, then we consider civilians as people, institutions which are purified from oppression … We have to approach and evaluate a new kind of politics,” he added.
The justice congress led by the main opposition party continued on its third day at the northwestern Turkish province of Çanakkale.
During ongoing panels and workshops, participants of thousands discussed “justice issues” in Turkey.
“If we are discussing justice for a country’s future, that means there is no democracy there,” said Kılıçdaroğlu, criticizing the country’s current state of justice.
“If there were a democracy, there would be no need to discuss justice. We see there is no justice, no democracy,” he said.
“One of the participants likened justice to air. It is true. It is just like the air we breathe. When we are able to breathe easily, we do not think about it, but when there is pollution, then we think of it and complain,” he said.
Kılıçdaroğlu also criticized ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for “surrendering to his own ego and ignoring his own base.” Questions have recently been raised after Erdoğan criticized party members for having “metal fatigue.”
“Erdoğan is devaluating his own party but no one can speak out of fear,” said Kılıçdaroğlu.
“He can criticize, humiliate the ministers and his own base, because he regards them as his own political prisoners. He thinks they will come after me no matter what I do,” he said.
“There is nothing more wrong than a political party leader discrediting his own organization, telling them ‘you are unskillful, tired and unable to do anything,’” he said.
“The reorganization of the AKP will be carried out in accordance with reports prepared by the Financial Crime Investigation Board [MASAK] and the National Intelligence Organization [MİT],” wrote a columnist from daily Sabah, which Kılıçdaroğlu referred to.
“If a political party reorganizes itself based on the reports coming from the MASAK and MİT, then it will no longer be a party. Can it be a party staffed with state officials? It means this party has no ideology, this party has lost its goals and principles. It means the state governs that party and that it is a party of the state,” said Kılıçdaroğlu.
Roadmap to 2019
As the system change stipulated by the constitutional amendment will take effect after the 2019 presidential and parliamentary elections, political parties have accelerated their efforts in their campaigns.
“We have a roadmap in our minds for 2019. We are trying to implement it step by step,” Kılıçdaroğlu said, adding he was content about the justice march.
“[The congress] is going better than I expected. Its intellectual dimension is predominating,” he said.
Kılıçdaroğlu also said the CHP’s main purpose is to launch a process where politics can be evaluated by “different measures of values.”
“The young Nationalist Movement Party [MHP] member who was executed is commemorated on ‘Memory Street,’ along with Deniz Gezmiş, Başbağlar and Erol Olçok,” the CHP leader said, referring to key figures and events in Turkish history carrying values from different political spectrums.
“We wanted to start such a process with the justice march and congress. I don’t know how well we can manage but if we can gain the support of society, people will say ‘yes, I want a peaceful country, I acknowledge its differences as richness.’ If we can bring society to that point, we will give the best contribution to politics,” he said.