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Turkish Premier Slams Opposition Leader For Long March

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Prime Minister Yildirim urges main opposition CHP leader Kilicdaroglu to seek solution in parliament instead

The premier has criticized the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader for organizing a march from Ankara to Istanbul following the detention of his party’s deputy, saying a solution should be sought through the parliament instead.

CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu launched the long march on Thursday after his party’s deputy Enis Berberoglu was sentenced to 25 years in jail for espionage when the lawmaker allegedly made public secret information involving National Intelligence Organization (MIT) trucks going to Syria in January 2014.

Berberoglu was accused of leaking footage of the MIT trucks to Can Dundar, the then editor-in-chief of Cumhuriyet daily. The footage showed MIT trucks being stopped by local gendarmerie in the southern province of Adana despite a national security law forbidding such a search. The Interior Ministry later denied media reports the trucks were carrying arms to groups in northern Syria, saying that in fact they were transporting humanitarian aid to the Turkmen community in the war-torn country.

In remarks made to the media in the capital after Friday prayers, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said Turkey is a state of law where everybody must respect judicial decisions.

“Justice cannot be sought on the street. Turkey is a state of law,” Yildirim said.

He pointed out that the judicial process involving the CHP deputy was still in the works and there were other ways to address the issue. “There are so many ways to claim your right. The judicial remedy process is yet to be completed,” he said.

The premier also said all issues can be brought to the parliament for discussion. “The solution can be found under the framework of law,” he said.

“Seeking a solution out in the road, calling [on people] to the street is irresponsible…It is not befitting for the main opposition party to complain about our country to the world on the street.

“If they want a solution, parliament is the place to find a solution,” he said.

He said everyone should respect the court’s decision. “Even if we don’t like a court’s decision, we should respect it,” he said.

The premier recalled the CHP was one of the parties that backed the motion calling for lifting of parliamentary immunity of some deputies last year, which paved the way for them to face the country's judiciary.

“Kilicdaroglu knew from the very beginning that after the lifting of parliamentary immunity lawmakers could face judicial process,” Yidirim said, adding: “For this reason, his current reaction does not make any sense.”

 

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