November 2, 2014

Kılıçdaroğlu: Consensus should set content of ‘Red Book,' not AK Party

Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has criticized the Justice and Development Party's (AK Party) attempt to label the faith-based Hizmet movement a terrorist organization at last week's National Security Council (MGK) meeting and put this classification into the “Red Book,” saying the content of this text cannot change in accordance with the ruling party's views.

The “Red Book” is a national security document in which major threats against the nation are enumerated.

Speaking to journalists on Sunday on the sidelines of a party meeting held in Antalya province, Kılıçdaroğlu said every country has texts that include certain decisions related to the national security of that country, and that this is called the “Red Book” in Turkey. However, he noted that this text should be the product of consensus, and its content should not be changed in line with the ruling party's attitude and views regarding Turkey's future.

The CHP leader also criticized the length of the MGK meeting -- 10 hours and 25 minutes -- saying it shows that the government is unable to fulfill its duties and that there is serious chaos and a vacuum in the administration of the country.

“In a healthy democracy, a MGK meeting would not last so long,” he stated.

Meanwhile, Felicity Party (SP) leader Mustafa Kamalak has harshly criticized a MGK decision that reportedly deemed the Hizmet movement a threat to national security.

Commenting on the MGK's endorsement of a plan of action to bring religious communities under control, the SP leader said, “Though the state regime has experienced disruptions on occasion [throughout the history of the Turkish Republic], religious movements -- including the Hizmet movement -- have continued to survive despite official action [against them].”

Kamalak criticized last week's MGK decision to crack down on “parallel structures” that stand out as a threat to national security. He said an MGK meeting held in 1997, which overthrew a coalition government led by a now-defunct conservative party, acted more honorably than the latest MGK meeting.

The term “parallel structure,” which was coined by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan after a major corruption investigation that went public on Dec. 17, 2013, implicating several government officials, refers to alleged sympathizers of the Hizmet movement in the state bureaucracy. Hizmet is a popular social movement inspired by Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen.

Kamalak added that his party has been subjected to a backlash from other circles for supporting the act of voicing government misdeeds. “We will continue to express our opinions by ignoring statements that denounce our stance.” The SP leader also recalled that before the graft probes in December of last year, ruling party officials were the staunchest supporters of the Hizmet movement. “Then-Prime Minister Erdoğan would pay tribute [to the Hizmet movement] by saying, ‘God bless you [the Hizmet movement], you did what the state could not.' Indeed, he was right,” Kamalak said.

Referring to the police officers who conducted the investigation last winter, Kamalak maintained that those officers have been subjected to fierce intimidation since they unveiled the government's misdeeds. “They [the government] manipulate the judiciary; they call robbers heroes and the police traitors. This is complete injustice and unlawfulness,” he said.

He also commented on the frequency of workplace accidents, which was recently exemplified by a coal mine accident in Ermenek, Karaman province, in which 18 miners have been trapped since Monday due to a flood.

“What do you expect when such a corrupt order exists? That [the corruption] is what the SP has been fighting against,” he stated.

Published on Sunday's Zaman, 02 November 2014, Sunday