Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Şırnak MP Hasip Kaplan held a press conference at the Parliament. Kaplan started his remarks by reminding that Turkey has recently been downgraded from “partly free” to “not free” on the Freedom House ‘Freedom of the Press 2014’ report and stated that “this is a warning that a democratic society should take very seriously.”

Kaplan further alluded to the fact that there will no TV broadcasting of the upcoming session at the General Assembly on Monday where the corruption allegations against the 4 former ministers will be discussed and added: “this showcases how much the government is afraid of freedom of the press. This exemplifies a clear non-transparent, systematic practice against people’s right to information.”

Kaplan also called upon the Speaker of the House, Cemil Çiçek: “We call on the Speaker of the House, as HDP, to let Meclis TV [TV Parliament] broadcast on Monday if you [the government] are truly not afraid of the people”.

Şırnak MP also spoke on the prosecutor’s decision of dismissal of proceedings [on the corruption allegations against the four ministers]: “All dismissals of proceedings as are subject to appeal. Even AK Party members have expressed this fact before as the presentation any new evidence might lead to a re-investigation. I will not question his ruling here. But I will ask: We were going to discuss these matters on Monday; what is it that is actually going on here? There are people who’ve been imprisoned for more than five years all across Turkey who haven’t even given their depositions yet; as many die in their cells denied the right to treatment. Just today, one of these prisoners was buried here in Ankara. Does justice serve only those in power? Aren’t all the citizens equal before the rule of law? That is what I intend to convey here. There are people who turned into billionaires just under three years in this country under this government. How they achieved this, we cannot ask.”

Kaplan further expressed that the government has no policy in place to effectively fight against crime and assume that the further deployment of the police force should naturally resolve this issue. According to Kaplan, the government not only fails to lower crime rates but also spend 55 percent of the federal budget failing to do so.

Şırnak MP asked the government whether there is an effective crime tracking system in place. Kaplan: “The government seems to be doing an excellent job in keeping a record of what the people in the opposition, the syndicate leaders, the Kurds, the Alevi peoples,or political demonstrators do or say. However, as a direct consequence of this channeled effort, burglars, those who are corrupt and those who commit fraud are let go. We call upon the Assembly to take action against this issue at hand. “

May 3, 2014