January 12, 2015

BBP’s Destici issues hands off to gov’t, on political parties and NGOs

Opposition BBP’s Chairman Destici slams government’s persecution of political parties and NGOs, while calling attention to the rising threat of the separatist PKK in southeast Turkey.

Speaking to members of the press commemorating the 10 January Journalists Day, Grand Unity Party (BBP) Chairman Destici expressed that “What business do the intelligence agencies have in dwelling into matters of political parties and non-governmental organizations. They should place their focus on terrorist groups, preventing live bombings, and working on domestic and international security threats… The PKK is setting up its own state.”

He emphasized that the recent bomb scares in İstanbul and Twitter whistleblower Fuat Avni’s prior warning that the government was planning to stage bombings in order to later on blame it on the Hizmet movement. “We hope that these claims will not become true. The PKK, the DHKP-C and TİKKO are the armed terrorist groups active in Turkey... We do not view the Hizmet Movement as a terrorist group.”

The ruling Justice and Development Party has been attacking the Hizmet Movement blaming it for allegedly orchestrating a 2013 key graft probe which implicated high level officials.

The most recent episode, hailed as critics as a corruption cover-up attempt came just days to the anniversary of the December 17 probe when the offices of Zaman Newspaper were raided, resulting in the arrest of Samanyolu Broadcast Group President Hidayet Karaca on terrorism charges. The charges themselves have been equally controversial, as they derive from the audacious claim that a fictional TV miniseries, aired on the network a couple of years ago was attempting to defame a group with warm sympathies to the al-Qaeda.

Calling the December 14 raids and the terror charges based on the TV show a “major infringement on press freedoms in Turkey” Destici added “To try to create an argument of the existence of a terrorist group out of a TV miniseries is something unique to Turkey” emphasizing it was hypocritical of the government to target one show and leave others on a variety of networks.

The BBP Chairman also touched on the December 17 probe and the failure on part of the government to uncover the allegations. He slammed AK Party Adıyaman delegate Mehmet Metiner over attempting to justify the alleged corruption of the government using a verse from the Qur'an, saying, “we are religious people, aren’t we? When we attend Friday prayers, the verse is read during the Friday sermon, ‘Protect and favor your relatives’.”

Metiner’s statement had come amidst a list of friends and relatives of key AK Party figures and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan who obtained key positions in state jobs on questionable qualifications and without the required state examination.

“The remainder of the verse states that all injustice and immorality is banned. You cannot aid families and relatives at the expense of others rights,” stated the BBP Chairman adding, “It is unacceptable for him to try to justify the irregularities with a Qur'anic verse. I advise that he at least not use our religion as a tool"

Published on BGNNews, 11 January 2015, Sunday