Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu renewed his calls for common sense in the wake of a massive physical attack against him, while describing it as an “unpardonable lynch attempt,” a day after a man who punched him was released from detention.
“The attack, or more correct to say the lynch attempt, against me is not pardonable, but we should protect our common sense despite everything,” Kılıçdaroğlu told reporters after he was visited by Democrat Party (DP) leader Gültekin Uysal.
Kılıçdaroğlu was attacked by a nationalist mob on April 21 during the funeral of a soldier. Police detained nine people, but released all of them, including Osman Sarıgün, who punched Kılıçdaroğlu in the face.
Photos showing a group of nationalist youngsters meeting the attacker with great respect and even kissing his hands have sparked major controversy.
On a question about Sarıgün’s release and the pictures, Kılıçdaroğlu refused to talk in detail, but said: “There would be no such picture if there was no political pressure. I do not want to say anything else beyond this.”
Kılıçdaroğlu thanked Uysal for paying a visit to him after the attack, complaining about the overstrained political environment. “Societies that can come together at times of pain and joy live peacefully. We also have to accept our differences as wealth and come together at times of pain and joy,” he said.
Politicians are responsible for stopping tension from escalating, Kılıçdaroğlu said, expressing his confidence in the wisdom and common sense of the Turkish public. “We will overcome these. I trust the wisdom of the people. We will overcome all this tension and we will bring about peace to our country. This is our main rhetoric,” Kılıçdaroğlu stressed.
“We will exert efforts to let spring come to Turkey. We will spread spring over to entire Turkey. This is one of our main objectives,” he said.
For his part, Uysal stressed that the lifeline of Turkish democracy was draining in the face of an understanding in politics that no longer draws or acknowledges legitimate boundaries.
“All of our common objectives must be resolving Turkey’s problems through democratic channels,” he said, underlining the importance of solidarity in the wake of such attacks against politicians.