Turkey’s judicial system has been taken over by the political authority, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has said, claiming that members of the judiciary “are being given orders” by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
“There is no justice in Turkey, nobody can dare speak about justice,” Kılıçdaroğlu said on Jan. 28, addressing the convention of his party’s youth organization in Ankara.
“The judiciary has surrendered to the political authority. The judiciary does not make decisions in line with the rule of law and conscience. They wait for an instruction from the [presidential] palace to determine what kind of decisions they should make,” he added.
“I know the lawyers who influence [the judicial process]. Soon we will disclose their names. We know very well which lawyers went where as representatives of whom.”
Criticizing the current record of democracy in Turkey, Kılıçdaroğlu said there cannot be democracy in a country where “academics are dismissed, journalists and lawmakers are imprisoned, and there is no gender equality.”
“Today each of us has to fight the struggle for democracy and stand for human rights. We have to defend the republic till the end,” he added, calling on the party’s youth to “struggle against those who have betrayed the revolutions of the republic and democracy, and stand in their way like lions.”
“You are the owners and guardians of the republic,” he added, quoting from what he called modern Turkey’s founder Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’s Bursa speech, one he made in the early Republican period.
“We adopt republican revolutions. If you hear there are actions or motions which could weaken them, you shall not leave it to the police, army or judiciary; you shall go and protect your own rights with your hands, stones, sticks or arms, whatever you have,” Kılıçdaroğlu said, adding that “it is the right to resist given to the Turkish youth.”
Saying that almost half of Turkey’s population is under the age of 30 and a majority of the young generation is experiencing hopelessness, Kılıçdaroğlu said “the struggle is not easy.”
“If the struggle is against diktat regimes, the struggle is even more difficult. The struggle against oppression is not easy. All struggles fought come at a price. We will make them pay that price, nobody should worry,” he said.