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PRESS RELEASE


Turkish Opposition Leader Accuses Erdogan of Planning a Coup

March 7, 2016 (EIRNS)—Turkey's main opposition party leader accused President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of planning a coup d'état, after Erdogan made a statement that he does not respect, and won't abide by, the decision of Constitutional Court ordering the release from prison of Cumhuriyet Editor-in-Chief Can Dündar, and Ankara bureau chief Erdem Gül.

Kemal Kiliçdaroglu, the leader of the Republican People's Party (CHP), said,

"If someone who was elected by [laws defined in] the constitution says, 'I do not recognize the constitution,' that means moves are underway for a coup détat."

Further,

"If someone walks up and says 'legislation and jurisdiction [functions of the state] are drags for me,' then he violates the principle of separation of powers,"

said Kiliçdaroglu, according to Hurriyet Daily News yesterday.

Speaking at a meeting with representatives of several civic organizations in Ankara on March 5, Kiliçdaroglu said that owners of small and medium-size businesses, as well as tradesmen and business organizations, were keeping silent about the economy's current slump, out of fear of Turkish authorities.

"Do you see what pressures business owners and tradesmen are under? Nobody can speak out because of fear. Why couldn't trade and industry chambers say, 'the economy is slumping?'"

he said, stressing that the fearful silence stems from the lack of an environment of democracy and liberty.

The two Cumhuriyet journalists were arrested in November. The daily had reported last May that state-owned trucks had taken weapons to Syria. The trucks, owned by the National Intelligence Agency (MIT), had been stopped in January 2014 by gendarmes near the border, in the province of Hatay, the Cumhuriyet report had alleged.