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Opposition leader warns bureaucrats against obeying unlawful orders from gov’t

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Turkey’s main opposition party leader on Saturday urged bureaucrats not to abide by unlawful orders from the ruling party in the wake of a scandal involving a pro-government foundation, Turkish media reported.

Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu tweeted that bureaucrats should refrain from engaging in the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) unlawful acts since the government will soon change hands and investigations will be launched into such acts.

Kılıçdaroğlu’s call to bureaucrats came after journalist Metin Cihan last week disclosed a document including information on some executives and members of the Turkey Youth Foundation (TÜGVA), on whose advisory board President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s son Bilal Erdoğan sits, who as a result of nepotism were appointed to posts in the Turkish military, police force and judiciary.

“As of Monday, October 18, you will be held responsible for all the support you give to the unlawful demands of this government. You can’t dodge responsibility for unlawful acts, saying, ‘I was ordered to do it.’ As of Monday, stop doing whatever you are unlawfully ordered to do,” Kılıçdaroğlu said in a video on Twitter.

President Erdoğan’s response to the CHP leader’s remarks came on Sunday before he flew to Angola as part of a tour of several African countries.

“Turkey is a state governed by rule of law. It is not a tribal state,” Erdoğan told reporters, accusing the CHP of having a problematic mindset. 

Following Erdoğan’s remarks, Kılıçdaroğlu on Sunday repeated his call to bureaucrats at the Local Media Workshop, organized by his party.

“I am making this call to civil servants as a person who worked in the civil service twenty-seven-and-a-half years and who is currently in politics,” Kılıçdaroğlu said, adding: “Any person employed in the civil service can’t be a [servant] of a family or a [political] party. They can cast their vote [for any political party], but they have to perform their duties in compliance with the law.”

Kılıçdaroğlu said the poor children of the nation, whose greatest dream is to be employed in the public sector, are being denied this opportunity by the government if they are not affiliated with a pro-government foundation.

The CHP leader stressed that he would combat corrupt practices as well as civil servants who have been involved in unlawful acts.

Meanwhile, CHP Ankara lawmaker Yıldırım Kaya posted a video showing Erdoğan making a similar warning to bureaucrats in 2001 before his party came to power.

“State institutions are being used for the benefit of a certain political party and for politically motivated acts. Bureaucrats are forced to commit crimes. Those who do will be crushed by the unlawful and unethical acts they have committed,” Erdoğan said in the video.

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