23 November 2020
The Socialist International expresses its full solidarity with Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the leader of its member party in Turkey, the Republican People’s Party, CHP, who has been subject to threats by a criminal convicted of multiple murders, money laundering and leading an illegal armed group, who had been released from jail in April this year following a penal code change.
The threat came after a speech made by Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu in parliament calling on President Erdogan to undertake true legal reforms, including of the penal code previously introduced enabling committed criminals to be released while maintaining in prison critics of the ruling party, for freedom of expression, and for political imprisonment to be ended.
It is deplorable that the leader of the extreme right wing nationalist MHP party, Devlet Bahçeli, an ally of President Erdogan, later defended the criminal publicly.
The CHP has filed a criminal complaint. It also criticised the government’s initial silence and delayed response.
The Socialist International underlines its concern that the legal system as well as the government have failed to react properly on such a grave matter which challenges the basic institutions of the state, and looks forward to a substantial response to preserve the rule of law.
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