Erdoğan dismisses calls for release of jailed businessman Kavala, politician Demirtaş

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President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan rejected a call by his adviser Bülent Arınç for the release of jailed philanthropist and businessman Osman Kavala and former Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş, stressing that his party’s alliance with the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) is sturdy.

“No one’s personal opinion can be linked to the president, our government and our party,” he said in his virtual address to the members of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

Not mentioning the name of Arınç directly, Erdoğan emphasized that “some people” were making statements amid the agenda of new reforms pledged by the government.

“In recent days, we see that a new fire of strife is being started with some individual statements that have nothing to do with us. Even if we have worked together in the past, no one’s personal statements can be made related to our government, our party,” the president stated.

Erdoğan stressed that “it is clear what they say, where they stand, where they are going, and there is not the slightest change in their direction.”

“We cannot be together with those who march from Ankara to Istanbul, hand in hand, arm in arm, shoulder to shoulder with terrorist organizations. The perpetrators of the Kobane massacre… can never be defended by Tayyip Erdoğan and his fellow comrades,” he said, noting that they “can never be together with” Kavala and his supporters.

“We cannot forget Kobane. We cannot defend those who killed our Kurdish brothers,” Erdoğan noted.

The People’s Alliance made a “historical change” in Turkey’s administration, he said and emphasized that he is “very glad about the direction of the People’s Alliance.”

He expressed “gratitude” to MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli, his partner in the alliance, for standing by the AKP at every case which is in the “interest of the country and nation.”

Last week, Arınç criticized the indictments that have Kavala and Demirtaş, urging their release.

‘Turkey sees itself a part of Europe

Erdoğan also said that Turkey, an official candidate for European Union membership, sees itself as an inseparable part of Europe but will not give in to attacks and double standards.

“We see ourselves as an inseparable part of Europe…However this does not mean that we will bow down to overt attacks to our country and nation, veiled injustices and double standards,” Erdoğan said.

“We do not believe that we have any problems with countries or institutions that cannot be solved through politics, dialogue and negotiations,” he added.

Erdoğan said that the EU should keep its promises regarding the migrants issue and making Turkey a full member of the bloc.

Hurriyet Daily News

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