Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Enis Berberoğlu, who has been in prison since June, has responded to claims made by Turkey’s autocratic President and the Chairman of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Recep Tayyip Erdoğan about speaking if he is released and said he does not have anything to confess since there was no crime, the Doğan news agency reported on Monday.
Berberoğlu, who issued a statement through his lawyers and accused Erdoğan of having bad intentions, said: “I must finally say that justice might be prevented from manifesting itself, they might delay my acquittal and my suffering might be extended. But under no circumstances will I come out as a criminal, maligner and confessor since there is no crime.”
Stating that the people who visit him are his lawyers and CHP deputies, Berberoğlu said they can be consulted for information about their conversations during the meetings.
“The person [Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu] who runs the main opposition party tries to act preemptively and muddy the waters over concern that the case of a deputy who is now in prison due to a crime against the country could reach himself,” Erdoğan had said during a speech to party members in Antalya province.
“Don’t be surprised if a link between Kılıçdaroğlu and the person [Berberoğlu] in prison is revealed soon. I am receiving different news from the prison. ‘I will speak if I am not released,’ says the person in prison,” added Erdoğan implying that Kılıçdaroğlu could stand trial in relation to the case of arrested CHP deputy Berberoğlu.
CHP spokesperson Bülent Tezcan has said Erdoğan admitted to a plot about CHP Chair Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu and CHP deputy Berberoğlu. Tezcan’s remarks came after Erdoğan on Sunday implied that CHP leader Kılıçdaroğlu could stand trial in relation to the case of arrested CHP deputy Berberoğlu.
“The chairman of the AKP admitted to the plot. This is confirmation of a big plot that unjustly took Enis Berberoğlu hostage and put him in prison and which unjustly targets the CHP and its chairman by using Enis Berberoğlu,” said Tezcan.
According to Tezcan, Erdoğan ordered court to jail Berberoğlu and then changed the panel of judges and presiding judge to ensure it was not revealed since there was something that upset him about the case concerning the MİT trucks.
Denying that Berberoğlu made such remarks, Tezcan claimed Erdoğan was proposing that Berberoğlu blame Kılıçdaroğlu for what happened and be released in return. “This campaign that has been running for days is actually a covered-up and indecent proposal. This is an indecent proposal made before the public. We do not have any friends who will accept this indecent proposal,” said Tezcan.
Berberoğlu was arrested in June immediately after he was handed down a prison sentence of 25 years for leaking information for a report on National Intelligence Organization (MİT) trucks transporting weapons to jihadists in Syria.
Erdoğan recently slammed Kılıçdaroğlu for remarks to German Focus magazine warning tourists against travel to Turkey and said that “he will pay the price.”
Pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Şanlıurfa deputy and spokesperson Osman Baydemir on Thursday said it would be no surprise if Kılıçdaroğlu were to be arrested, dha reported.
Staunchly pro-government Yeni Akit daily columnist Mehtap Yılmaz in a Monday article called for the arrest of the CHP leader and three CHP deputies. (SCF with turkishminute.com)