Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Turkish Opposition Warns Erdogan over Power Manipulation

Turkish Opposition Warns Erdogan over Power Manipulation

Saturday, 18 April, 2020 - 07:15
FILE PHOTO: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan attends a joint news conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin (not pictured) following their talks in Moscow, Russia March 5, 2020. Pavel Golovkin/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

The head of the Republican People's Party (CHP), Kemal Kilicdaroglu, who is the leader of the main opposition in Turkey has accused President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of taking advantage of the coronavirus crisis to tamper with the legislative authority.

Kilicdaroglu warned on Friday that Erdogan’s moves would lead to the collapse of his rule.

He said that Erdogan has suspended the parliament for 45 days, as part of the measures to fight the coronavirus pandemic, after passing bills that he had sponsored.

“The ruling party is speeding up its demise,” said the CHP leader.

“The suspension of parliamentary sessions is the result of Erdogan’s one-man rule,” he said. “Erdogan is mistaken if he thinks he can unilaterally resolve any problem or any crisis.”

Kilicdaroglu reiterated his criticism of a law passed by the parliament earlier this week to allow the release of tens of thousands of prisoners in order to ease overcrowding in jails and protect detainees from the coronavirus.

He slammed the law for excluding journalists and opposition politicians, revealing that his party would file an appeal to Turkey's constitutional court.

Ali Babacan, the leader of the Democracy and Progress Party, also criticized the decision of the Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTUK) to issue FOX Turkey and other media outlets with a broadcast ban as a result of a report critical of the Turkish government’s efforts to combat the COVID-19 outbreak.

“Regulators should not be used as a punishment stick by the political authority,” said Babacan.

The decision violates media rights granted by the constitution, he said.

Last week, Erdogan accused FOX Turkey anchorman Fatih Portakal of “spreading lies and manipulating the public on social media.”

Editor Picks