Deputy Chairman of main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Gürsel Tekin said on Monday that his party is organizing a demonstration in İstanbul's Kadıköy district on Saturday against bans imposed by the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government.
Speaking at a news conference at the CHP İstanbul provincial branch, Tekin said, “We will hold this demonstration against the bans and despotism of the AK Party government.”
He was joined by another CHP deputy chairman, Umut Oran.
Tekin said the AK Party claimed that it came to power to eliminate the bans in the country, but he said things have turned out differently and now everything in the country is decided by one man, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
The party's leader, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, will join the demonstration in Kadıköy.
The AK Party government has recently drawn the ire of secular circles in particular due to a bill it has pressed ahead seeking limitations on the sale and advertising of alcoholic beverages.
Among other things, the bill bans the sale of alcoholic beverages between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. and it bans the advertising of these beverages and all forms of their promotion. The bill also introduces heavy sanctions for those violating it.
The bill is waiting for the approval of President Abdullah Gül to become law.
At a separate news conference in Parliament, another CHP deputy chairman, Faruk Loğoğlu, responded to claims suggesting that his party would nominate Şişli Mayor Mustafa Sarıgül for the mayoralty of İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality in the local elections scheduled for March next year.
“The important thing for the CHP is to select a candidate who will win İstanbul [to become the mayor]. This could either be this person or that person but he/she should definitely win the elections,” he said.
At the same news conference, Loğoğlu criticized the AK Party government's policy with regards to the crisis in Syria.
“Everyone who has a hand in Syria should withdraw their hands. The biggest foreign hand in Syria is the hand of Turkey. So, the best thing Turkey can do for Syria is to remove its hands, " he said.
Loğoğlu claimed that the AK Party's Syria policy is one of the main reasons for the turmoil in Syria now.
“No matter how our government denies providing weapons to the opposition in Syria, we know it from the records that dozens of cargo planes from Qatar land in Turkey. We don't think those planes are carrying bananas or dates for Syria. If Syria has now become a place where terrorist organizations operate, Turkey has a role in this,” he said.
CihanLast Mod: 28 Mayıs 2013, 12:00