Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) spokesperson Bülent Tezcan has called on Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu to resign after the former announced he instructed local governors to hinder CHP officials from attending the funerals of martyred Turkish Army members.
“The interior minister should resign immediately. A minister who is responsible for domestic security has become a threat to domestic security,” Tezcan said in a press conference during the main opposition party’s assembly meeting on June 28.
His comments came after Soylu announced he had instructed his undersecretaries to order governors to ban CHP provincial heads from attending the funerals of martyrs of the Turkish Army.
“I have sent an instruction to our governors via our undersecretaries. I have said to not allow CHP local heads to attend the funerals of martyrs as protocol,” Soylu said on June 28, accusing the main opposition party of supporting the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) by supporting the opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) in the elections.
“If they were together in the polls, they will be together at funerals,” he said.
Soylu also confirmed he had called HDP co-head Pervin Buldan on June 26, over the murder of a local grocer in the eastern Turkish province of Ağrı.
Forty-five year-old Mevlüt Bengü, who reportedly had a role in elections for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), was found shot dead on June 26 in Ağrı. The PKK is “thought to be responsible” for the incident, state-run Anadolu Agency reported.
Buldan said on June 27 Soylu called her over the killing and said “you have no right to live anymore.”
“Soylu used expressions like ‘we will show you. You are responsible. You can go wherever you can go,’” read the official statement from the HDP on June 27, as the call was criticized as a “threat to politicians.”
“Yes, I called Buldan. She said less than what I said,” said Soylu, confirming the call.
“No one can support the PKK on this soil, even if they are with the CHP or others,” he said.
Following Soylu’s comments, the HDP filed a criminal complaint against the minister on June 28, for “threatening and inciting the public to hate and animosity.”
Tezcan slammed Soylu’s comments, saying his words were “polarizing and separating” Turkish society.
“This statement is a statement that attempts to turn the funerals of martyrs and mosques into an issue of dispute,” said Tezcan, adding that “they are trying to create chaos.”
“A person holding the post of interior minister and voicing such expressions to keep that post is the greatest threat and danger for the security of the nation,” he said.
Elazığ lawmaker under disciplinary process
Meanwhile, the CHP party assembly has decided to refer the party’s newly elected Elazığ lawmaker Gürsel Erol to the disciplinary board on June 28, demanding his dismissal after Erol had criticized the CHP administration for the election result.