Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has strongly criticized the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government over recent allegations of corruption and bribery, stating that even greater corruption claims will emerge in the upcoming days.
Speaking during an event in Bursa on Thursday, Kılıçdaroğlu talked about a major corruption investigation in which the sons of three ministers, many bureaucrats and renowned businessmen were detained on charges of engaging in corruption and bribery on Dec. 17, 2013. He stated: “We had already said six months ago that the country's administration was not healthy, our country's democracy was under threat, the principle of separation of powers was being violated and that there was an authoritarian administration in Turkey. Now, if you want to rent one square meter of space, you have to ask for permission from [Prime Minister] Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Is such a democracy possible? That is the source of corruption. Audit reports prepared by the Court of Accounts for public institutions are no longer sent to Parliament. Why? In order to prevent corruption from being revealed. You will see that greater corruption [claims] will emerge in the upcoming days.”
Stating that he has never seen politics as a tool for enrichment, Kılıçdaroğlu said he engages in politics for the public, adding: “You all have seen those [the government] who consider politics as a tool for enrichment. They have turned Turkey into a 'valley of embezzlers.' You [top government officials] make your families rich. Are you not satisfied yet? You will leave the world in only a shroud. How much money will you be satisfied with? Do tell. We will launch an aid campaign to collect this amount of money to save the nation from you all. We have seen what happened on Dec. 17. Think of a country whose ministers were accused of being involved in corruption and they were forced to resign.”
Stating that the prime minister regularly says there are gangs within the state, Kılıçdaroğlu said Turkey is being administrated by gangs, adding that these words don't belong to him but that this is what Erdoğan says. He stated: “I made a suggestion to him [Erdoğan]. I told him if he wanted to see criminal gangs, all he had to do was look at his own Cabinet. Who is the leader of this gang? The answer is quite easy. If you [the prime minister] want to see a criminal gang leader, you have to look in the mirror.”
Criticizing the words of Erdoğan, who says his government was framed with the corruption investigation, Kılıçdaroğlu stated: “He says they were framed. What is clean money doing in shoeboxes? Who framed you? Did gangs put a money-counting machine in the bedroom of a minister's son [former Interior Minister Muammer Güler's son Barış Güler, who was also among those detained as part of the corruption investigation]? Did the gang give a TL 700,000 watch to a minister [former Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan]?”
The police found $4.5 million concealed in shoeboxes in the house of the general director of state-run Halkbank, Süleyman Arslan, and found a money-counting machine in the interior minister's house along with hundreds of thousands of dollars during raids as part of the corruption probe on Dec. 17.