Republican People’s Party (CHP) Chair Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu spoke at the weekly Parliamentary group meeting of his party today (January 11).
Addressing the press in his speech a day after the Working Journalists Day, main opposition leader Kılıçdaroğlu underlined the importance of press freedom. “There is nothing as valuable as press freedom for politicians,” said Kılıçdaroğlu, explaining his remarks in following words:
“Because we, politicians, may not sufficiently learn about what is happening in Turkey and even in the world. Especially today’s press inquires about all truths, reports them to us and we learn the truths.
“Is the right of someone usurped somewhere? For the political authority to intervene and eliminate this injustice…
“But if you create a univocal press, you cannot eliminate injustice. Politicians need sound and consistent criticism, not applause.
I would like to say something to the press community: Don’t worry, we are so close… Regardless of who they are, they will see what press freedom is as long as they act morally and we will know how to learn from those criticisms.
‘We all see the reality one by one’
Further in his speech, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu talked about the economic crisis in Turkey. Referring to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), he said that “this government is faced with a multiple organ failure.”
“The state is not being governed now. Power groups are, in fact, directing the political authority. Some of them are drug barons, some are barons, some are loan shark barons,” explained the CHP Chair.
In reference to a recent survey carried out by the Social Democracy Foundation (SODEV), Kılıçdaroğlu said:
“SODEV conducted a survey. They ask people whether Turkey is going better, where it is headed, economically… The rate of those who say that the country is going better is 10.8 percent. We all see the reality one by one. Beyond seeing it, every one of us experiences it, both these price increases and poverty as well as the richness of some.
‘107,679 houses suffered natural gas cut’
Underlining that poverty is increasing in Turkey, Kılıçdaroğlu also referred to an answer given to a Parliamentary question submitted by a CHP MP regarding the number of people who could not pay their natural gas bills. Kılıçdaroğlu shared the following information from this answer:
“The natural gas (utility) of 74 thousand 61 people was cut in 2019 because they could not pay their bills. This number increased to 87 thousand 626 in 2020. While it was 87 thousand in the first eight months of 2021, it increased to 107 thousand 679 in 2021.
‘Why price hikes despite falling exchange rates?’
According to CHP’s Kılıçdaroğlu, “the price of fuel oil has been increased by 46 times in Turkey over the past year, which is something not experienced by the country in its Republican history” since 1923.
Addressing the “brothers and sisters from the AKP and MHP”, CHP Chair Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said, “We understand that you increase prices when the exchange rate of the dollar increases. But why do you increase the prices when the exchange rate is on the decrease?”
“Is it because the Treasury is all empty? They will apparently solve the traffic problem like this,” added the CHP Chair, protesting that electricity prices have also been increased by 127 percent in the country.
‘He serves dollar barons, not citizens’
Addressing President and AKP Chair Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, he briefly said:
The name of the person serving loan sharks is Erdoğan; no one should forget this. ‘I am against fascism’ and all… They are all stories… […] Whom does he serve? I say it openly and clearly: He serves loan sharks. He serves dollar barons, not citizens. A complete collapse is taking place in the economy.
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