CHP Leader Özgür Özel spoke at the TBMM Group Meeting: They Think They Will Lose Power If People Enter Taksim



Republican People's Party Chairperson Özgür Özel reiterated his call for Taksim to be opened for May 1 Workers' and Labourers' Day at the TBMM Group Meeting. Özel said, ‘In fact, some people think that Taksim and Gezi Park are their sovereignty banners and that they will lose their sovereignty and power if the society goes there. However, if you have started to establish sovereignty with a ban, you can no longer talk about sovereignty, authority and power there. The domination established by pressure and power is doomed to lose sooner or later.’ Regarding the discussions on the new constitution, Özel said, ‘Constitutions are texts of social consensus. Constitutions are made for every born. Constitutions are not made for Erdoğan. Constitutions encompass the society, they are like clothes. Its characteristic is that it fits almost everyone. They are texts so inclusive, so pluralistic, so transcendentally timed. They gain value as they stand, they mature.’

Özgür Özel, Leader of the Republican People's Party, said at his party's TBMM Group Meeting, ‘At the beginning of last week, we had quite exciting and interesting moments. One of them was that an independent deputy joined our group after a long time. I just asked her how the first week went and she said it was very good. The CHP group is composed of the representatives of one of Turkey's largest and long-established families in the Parliament. Our family continues to grow. As last week, again this week there is a very important participation.’


Özel said, ‘He is an educator of 42 years. He served at various levels of the Ministry of National Education for many years. He served as an education attaché in Chicago. He held important positions such as the Board of Education. During the EU process, she took part in the team related to the recognition of the EU. She worked in the field of education in Brussels for a while. In the last period, there were studies on the national education policies of the common consensus text, which we attach great importance to, and he made incredible efforts there. She has been the general director of the Turkish Education Association for many years. Mrs Sevinç Atabay is coming to the podium to join the CHP. We have been following Mrs Sevinç's work very carefully for many years. She is perhaps one of the most experienced names in Turkey on the curriculum issues that I will talk about in a moment as the CHP marches to power, she wanted to contribute us in this march after the CHP's change and in this march. She is a very important scientist and a very important authority on these issues, which we already follow very closely. Our shadow minister in charge of national education, our party school will make important contributions to the strength and work of our local governments academy within the party in the coming period. Sevinç Atabay is welcome among us. She is welcome to her father's house, Atatürk's party.’


Özel said, ‘The problem with the CHP in young and female member applications is that the printed copies of the member registration form are out, we are waiting for new prints. There is an incredible trend. Last week the twins left a very pleasant memory. The chairperson of the Youth Branch, Mr Gençosman said, ‘This is going somewhere unpredictable'. I said, where could it be going? Look where it's going. New member recruitment. Ayşegül Kılıç, her brother Enes Kılıç, their triplet Eren Kılıç. Ayşegül, Enes and Eren. Triplets are joining us. Here you go. Dear family, the CHP family continues to grow. Last week, the twins attracted a lot of attention, some partisan press even said it could be fiction. The twins continue, triplets have arrived, and if quadruplets arrive next week, the door is open. The door is open to everyone in the father's house. Ayşegül, Enes and Eren welcome to the father's house. Welcome to the father's hearth.’ At the group meeting, Özel noted the following:


‘I wish our friend Murat Emir success in his duty. On the other hand, Busenaz made us smile. Once again, I congratulate them on their medals. Izmir now has a representative in the super league. I congratulate Göztepe. At the weekend, there was a very important match in Soma district of Manisa. We hosted Amedspor. From time to time in the past, there were situations that were very negative and disturbed Turkey and social peace. Previously Hasan Baltacı in Kastamonu, this time our mayor Sercan Okur. They did their part as hosts. Amedspor came to Soma, their managers came the day before. It was a competition in friendship and brotherhood. Maybe not in terms of mathematics, but they left Manisa having secured the championship in the normal conditions of football. I was very touched, I called them to express my congratulations. I was absent due to the Mesir festival. What their president, the president of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce, my esteemed colleague Mehmet Kaya, the president of Amedspor, said about Manisa, Soma and our presidents is very important. Such football in Turkey in the following process, such days, such days, to live like this. I congratulate Amedspor, hoping that it will contribute to the friendship of cities and the brotherhood of all of us.’


‘Again at the weekend, in a political party, the IYI Party, with which we had an alliance in the past, there was a farewell and a flag change after Mrs Meral Akşener left office. Once again, I wish Mrs Meral health and happiness in her future life, together with her precious family. In a competitive environment in a multiple race, this intra-party democracy is important for Turkey. Mr Müsavat Dervişoğlu, with whom we previously served as deputy group deputy chairman, was elected. He has just received his mandate. Once again, we wish him and his party good luck and success.’


‘Last week, I had called for a reversal of the decision to close Taksim to May 1 Labour Day celebrations. The fact that a square is closed for 1 May is not the success of that government, but the fact that it is not capable, that it is in power, but by banning the celebration in that square, it is in an unnecessary uneasiness, that it admits in advance that it cannot provide security, that insecurity in democracies is not good for governments, that we are ready to take responsibility for this reason, that we are ready to take responsibility, that we demanded that the celebrations in the square be allowed without anyone's nose bleeding by working with the unions. A week has passed. Yesterday, I called the Minister of Interior. I expressed my demand, my commitment, the guarantee we put on this issue. I offered cooperation. He told me again that they would not give permission, citing certain drawbacks, certain intelligence, calls made by certain illegal organisations. He was open to communication and had a positive approach. But in the end there was a ban. He called it a restriction. There is a restriction, not a ban, they are coming with 300 people, not 50. They can lay a wreath and leave after half an hour. But we won't open it. He said we cannot open it. In fact, some people think that Taksim and Gezi Park are their banners of sovereignty and that they will lose their sovereignty and power if the society goes there. However, if you have started to establish sovereignty with a ban, there can no longer be any talk of sovereignty, power and power. The rule established by pressure and power is doomed to lose sooner or later.’


‘The strongest power is that which is established with consent, that which is established with heart. It is protected by democracy. Democracy is also a business where demonstrations and protests are held freely, where permission is not even needed as long as they act within constitutional boundaries. But unfortunately, the mind ruling the country lacks this self-confidence and this understanding of democracy. Despite all our warnings, it did not happen. This morning we had another meeting with the Minister of Interior. They said they could not fulfil my proposal and demand. We told them that this was not right. It is still not too late. I repeat my call from here. There is a constitutional debate today. Mr Kurtulmuş came here. They say that CHP should be involved in the process of making a new constitution. I said it in my statement and I said it also in the room. Constitutions are texts of social consensus. They are made for everyone. Constitutions are not made for Erdoğan. Constitutions encompass the society, they are like clothes. Their characteristic is that they fit almost everyone. They are texts so inclusive, so pluralistic, so transcendentally timed. As they stand, they gain value, they become steeped. Making such a text, that is, sewing a new dress for the society... Would we buy a dress we will not wear? Let's buy a new dress, but let's not use it. That would be a waste. If the constitution is the dress of democracy, if you don't fit into the current constitution, what if you buy a new one, what if you stay in the old one?’


‘Today, the Republic of Turkey has a constitution in force. We all have articles we like and articles we don't like. But if everyone obeys the articles they like and not the articles they don't like, there will be no constitution and no state. Someone doesn't recognise the right to property, they trample on property. They steal, extort. Someone does not recognise, for example, one of the most important guarantees for women. Another does not recognise the law of inheritance and does not leave inheritance to women. Another does not respect the right to travel, does not let anyone out of the city. With one article of the constitution not obeyed by everyone, 100 people do not obey 100 articles, and the social and state order disappears. Therefore, it is the duty of every citizen to comply with the old constitution until the new one is made. The duty of someone who was naturalised yesterday and the President of this country is loyalty to the constitution, and we take office by taking an oath on it. The Constitution says that the decisions of the Constitutional Court are binding. They are binding for everyone, the legislature, the executive and the judiciary. It is everyone's obligation to obey that judgement. I have a Constitutional Court decision. In the decision written on 12 October 2023, Taksim Square, which is one of the building blocks of labour and trade union culture, shows not only the solidarity of those who were there on 1 May, but also the existence of the common memory of the working people. In this case, every person who considers himself/herself a part of that culture has the right to be there on 1 May to directly experience the meaning of Taksim Square and to pass on his/her experience for generations. Since 1 May is identified with Taksim Square, limiting the said space leads to the limitation of the thought that is intended to be conveyed, the Constitutional Court says the executive cannot ban Taksim. I did not appoint these members of the Constitutional Court, you did. Someone who does not comply with this decision today, someone who does not comply with this Constitution, we will meet with him tomorrow, the day after tomorrow. Of course we will negotiate, we will discuss positive agendas, but when it comes to the constitution, there is nothing as natural as expecting compliance with the current Constitution.’


'The Taksim decision is evident. Closing Taksim is not recognising the Constitution. The decision on Can Atalay is clear, not releasing Can Atalay is not recognising the Constitution. There is a judgement of violation of rights against each of the Gezi detainees. Keeping them in Bakırköy and Silivri is not recognising the Constitution. Not implementing the decisions of the Constitutional Court, remaining silent and not opening an angle to your alliance partner's statements that the Constitutional Court should be closed down is not recognising the Constitution. That is why I have always defended and will always defend the handshake of politicians. If politicians do not shake hands, enemies of democracy will start rubbing their hands. At the end of the 1970s, we all experienced together what the failure of politicians to shake hands had cost Turkey. Therefore, negotiation is one thing, communication is another, agreeing on the same idea is another. But it is also the duty of each of us to expect and remind each other that we, who have sworn an oath to the constitution, who have sworn loyalty to the constitution, are loyal to their oaths.’


‘Until tomorrow, according to the information received so far, CHP will be in 55 provinces and 120 centres, but wherever there is a May Day celebration, one of our representatives from this group will take part in that celebration. We will also go to the celebrations organised by Hak-İş and Türk-İş, and although we think that Taksim is the right place for those celebrations instead of Kocaeli and Bursa, we will be at the events held by every union in every city, without discriminating any union, out of respect for their members and institutional structures, even if we think differently from time to time. Tomorrow, if workers gather from Beşiktaş and Saraçhane and march to Taksim in accordance with the Constitution, because the Constitutional Court has said that the workers are right, as CHP we will be with them. My only warning, my most important warning is this. 1 May is a holiday, the holiday of workers and labourers. Even though they do not have union rights, the police of this country are also labourers. The military are also labourers. Security guards are also labourers. The decisions they have to implement are not the personal decisions of those brothers and sisters, as their bread is being played with because of those who give them unlawful orders and they are threatened with all kinds of disciplinary processes when they do not obey that order. In some environments, there may be illegal structures that want to bring workers and police officers, security forces and labourers into conflict, or there may be some malicious people working on legal grounds. There may be provocations from both sides. Therefore, reminding once again that we do not want to see gas, truncheons, handcuffs on May 1, we do not want to see images of conflicts with security forces on May 1, I call on all public officials to be responsible, the organising committees to be sensitive to the point of separating and not identifying those who give unlawful orders, who do not recognise the Constitution, and my labouring police brothers and sisters who have to obey these orders in order to bring bread to their children, and I congratulate the May 1 Workers' and Labourers' Day in advance.’


‘Western universities are reacting to the massacres in Gaza that tear the hearts of all humanity. When these reactions are violently suppressed, they are extremely shameful images. We are reacting. The government that supports the anti-Israeli Palestine solidarity protests organised by the students from Turkey, the government that praises those protests, which I also praise those protests. It is nothing but hypocrisy for the government, which intervened in the protests by students in Boğaziçi, which went so far as to prevent lecturers and former deans from entering the campus of Boğaziçi, which did not allow the graduation ceremony to be held at the Revolution Stadium in METU, which criminalised, detained and arrested our students in Boğaziçi and METU, to praise the protests in the USA. It was Deniz Gezmiş and his friends, the leaders of all of us in the Palestinian cause, who wrote the indelible revolution inscription on the Revolution Stadium in METU. Come to your senses. Such hypocrisy cannot be tolerated neither in politics nor in human relations. There is no explanation for not seeing these, for being a democrat to the USA on the Palestinian issue, and for being a despot in Boğaziçi and METU. If you are looking for an explanation, the place you need to look for an explanation is the 31 March election results. They gave you the explanation there. 25 August 2023 KPSS selection exam is over. Eight months have passed since that day. There are still unassigned teachers. The Ministry of National Education employs 85 thousand paid teachers. On the one hand, teachers are waiting for 85 thousand appointments. They are not being appointed. Erdoğan promised that the interview will be abolished, they are not abolishing it. The Minister of National Education says we will make an interview like an interview. You did not get votes from this nation by saying that. You got votes by saying you would abolish the interview. Now not abolishing the interview is nothing but an admission of deceiving the voters. Erdoğan, who said to the late Ecevit 22 years ago, 23 years ago, that there are 68 thousand unassigned teachers, why can't you appoint them, if you can't appoint them, why are you teaching them, has taught 1 million teachers as of today and has not appointed them. In the spiritual presence of the deceased, we now ask you that account. If you can't appoint them, why did you have them taught, brother?’


‘We were at the rally of unappointed teachers at the weekend. Since I was the host of the mesir festival, which we organised for the first time in my hometown Manisa, my group deputy chairmen and deputies represented us. There was an important struggle. We respect that struggle. We are behind our teachers to the end. Every struggle they put up will be supported by us. I will continue to express, remind and follow their just struggles in every meeting, on every platform, whenever I can. The most represented professional group in this parliament are lawyers and lawyers. It is only natural that they are the most present under this supreme roof where law is made. They held a big defence rally this week, they called for justice for the lawyer. They expressed the problems of lawyers. Without allowing politics and differences of opinion to come between them, they expressed their reactions to the defence of their profession as a whole, their socio-economic problems, the increasing violence against them every day, and the problems related to the judiciary and the legal system. They expressed how all kinds of failures in the legal and judicial system are reflected on the defence profession. We express that the right to defence is one of the most precious human rights, that the defence profession is one of the most respected professions, and that we follow the problems of the members of this important profession who come to the rescue of every citizen seeking justice day and night. We convey our feelings of solidarity to all lawyers and jurists.’


‘With the participation of Ms Sevinç, the CHP's education team has become stronger. Curriculum change in education is on the agenda these days. There is a national consensus that the education system needs a major reform. When you look at the AKP's polls, the most important point they should see if they look at them correctly is this. Look at the breakdown of AKP women voters. Look at what she is least satisfied with the AKP: the education her children receive. The level of satisfaction is 19 per cent. AKP women voters, one of the voter groups that vote for Tayyip Erdoğan the most, give the education of their children 19 out of 100. After the Minister of Culture, the Ministry of National Education is the ministry that has been changed the most. It is a jigsaw puzzle. Every newcomer makes reforms. Who appointed the person who made National Education in need of reform? The same fountain pen. The same ink appointed, the same person appointed. The point, sir, is to raise a vindictive generation. Let their values be like ours. Let it be loyal to us. The perspective of potential voters is not the perspective of an educator. That's why I am calling out to all AKP supporters and voters who voted for AKP to change the education system, which has turned into a jigsaw puzzle, constantly changing its rules, changing its curriculum, turning it into a toy in the hands and minds of politicians, now with a curriculum change, and with the name of Turkey century education model. Let's imagine for a moment that the CHP and Kemal Bey won the election last May, not the AKP and Tayyip Bey. Let's imagine that the CHP has named the curriculum that all of our children will study as the slogan of its own party. How would you feel?’


‘The century of Turkey’ is the slogan of an election campaign of the AKP, using the ministries as tools and utilising their means. If there is to be a consensus somewhere, it will first be in education. It is the national consensus in education that has made Germany one of the strongest economies in the world. It is in place. It works like clockwork. A German child can solve the PISA exam perfectly, no matter which view his mother and father hold. If your child does not understand what he/she reads, if he/she is second to last in calculations, books and PISA, the fault is not in the child, but in the head you have chosen. He sent it now. It took us 10 years to prepare it, he says, give your opinion in 7 days. Blessed man, he doesn't even say 10 days. This country knows about the weeks-long national education councils. There is no national education without common sense. There can be no success in national education without scientific education. When we move away from modern, secular and scientific education, there can be no development or enrichment. Period. That is why we reject this curriculum. Of course we will study and warn this curriculum. Of course we will criticise it. However, it is inconvenient to make a curriculum like a fait accompli. I once again warn those concerned about this issue. I do not warn the Minister of National Education, because his weakest subject is understanding what he reads and hears. This friend failed that subject from the beginning. He failed from the beginning.’


‘I had many rains, I got sick, my voice was hoarse. One day I went to Edremit and the sun was shining. While some people were enjoying the sunshine, while I was trying to explain my problems, while I was asking for votes for Ahmet, for the mayor of Edremit, I looked down and there were blue berets. They were shouting like that, I said, I have friends who are concerned about your problems. My shadow interior minister, Murat Bakan is the son of a non-commissioned officer. But he voices your problems at every opportunity. But I had my friend Umut Akdoğan with me. I said I'm instructing you from here. File a motion of inquiry. Consult our group deputy chairpersons. Put it on the agenda in the appropriate week. Today, 43 retired non-commissioned officers found the solution to make the problems of all retired non-commissioned officers in Turkey visible by coming to this Parliament, where they sent us. We have a law proposal and an urgent action plan in the coming days. It is about non-commissioned officer retirees. We will fight for its enactment. Starting from giving compensation to non-commissioned officers over the 10 thousand indicator figure, from your starting degree to 9 to 2, to the one-time forgiveness of the disciplinary penalties taken by those whose unfavourable ranks have been corrected, of course, it does not cover crimes that are incompatible with the profession, such as crimes against the state. Until the age of 60, those who stay on duty and retire will benefit from cadre compensation like officers, the word health disability will be included in the law instead of ordinary disability, which is a derogatory term, the exam for assistant inspectors from military sources will also be opened to non-commissioned officers, the schools that train non-commissioned officers will be raised from associate degree to bachelor's degree, and non-commissioned officer vocational schools will be raised to bachelor's degree, and we will bring our proposal to the Parliament in the coming weeks. We will see who will accept it. We will see who will not accept it. We will see the votes of those who come out from the MHP benches and say that we love specialised sergeants, we protect non-commissioned officers, we are behind our army. Let all retired non-commissioned officers see, let retired non-commissioned officers know who their friends are and who is not their friend. We are proud of those who risk death along the border so that we can sleep comfortably at home, those who leave orphaned children behind so that the flag flies, those who do not blink while everyone is sleeping so that the streets in this country are safe. We are proud of you.’


‘I mentioned last week that one of the most important problems in Turkish prisons is sick prisoners and convicts. In this regard, last week I regretfully stated that 83-year-old Çetin Doğan was discharged from hospital to prison. I also stated that Makbule Özer, a physician, was put back in prison because she examined a patient whose language she did not know, without knowing who he was. Again, we are following with regret that 83-year-old Fevzi Türkeri, who was arrested with Çetin Doğan in the same case, Yıldırım Türker, 79-year-old Cevat Temel Özkaynak, 78-year-old Erol Özkasnak, who are all detained with Çetin Doğan, are still being held in prison despite their health conditions being unfavourable, and that Fevzi Türkeri is still being held in prison despite the Forensic Medicine Institution's report that it is inconvenient for him to remain in prison. Once again, we invite the authorities to conscience and humanity.’


‘Another inexhaustible, inexhaustible, AKP work is proudly presented again by the AKP. Savings in the public sector. Just as every changing minister reforms national education, here comes the 8th circular on savings in the public sector. They have issued 7 of them so far. They did not comply with 7 of them. In the 7th one, they excluded the Parliament and the palace. Now we will see the 8th one, but when we say saving in the public sector, we do not think of it only as the public sector in the central government hierarchy. As CHP municipalities, we manage 65 per cent of the population in Turkey, we manage 80 per cent of the economy, 86 per cent of the taxes are collected from the municipalities we manage, from the people and companies there, we cannot be left out of the savings. With the CHP's savings circular being prepared, we are initiating a process in which our municipalities set an example for all municipalities that our municipalities have ended waste and brought service in the past period, ensuring unity of practice, eliminating waste and misuse, and spending the money saved on those who really deserve it through social municipalism practices.’


‘I was in Denizli recently. I visited the Mayor of Denizli Metropolitan Municipality in his office. He told me that he had identified 45 unnecessary office vehicles in the municipality, that mayors, department heads, deputies were allocated office cars up to their stafff chiefs, that there were office vehicles outside, that provincial and district presidents were given vehicles, that we always know, but that he returned 45 of them, that he told his own team that everyone gets in his own car, comes to work, and that whoever needs a car for his duty during the day uses one of the vehicles in the pool. I said this to him on behalf of all of you. Praise be to you. 70 million liras of Denizli Municipality's total debt of 11 billion liras accumulated for those returned vehicles is due to unnecessary office vehicles. Only the tip of the iceberg. Remember the thousands of office vehicles that Ekrem Mayor exhibited in Yenikapı in the past years, 3-5 thousand of which were given here and there to the AKP organisation. If Imamoğlu wins the election with a margin of over 1 million this time, which he won last time with a margin of 13 thousand, and after great injustice, with a margin of 806 thousand, you and I will not look at where I did wrong. You will look for success in Ekrem İmamoğlu's returning thousands of unnecessary office vehicles and spending the money he saved on the poor that you ignored. If Mansur Yavaş makes your mayors close their credit books while waiting for instructions from Ankara like a rabbit with a light shining in its eyes. If Mansur Yavaş supports the minibus tradesmen while the minibus drivers cannot work. If Mansur Yavaş finds those who earn their bread on the street at home and feeds them, you will not think about how we got 30 per cent and they got 60 per cent. You will know that CHP is the friend of the poor, the destitute and the poor. God has granted us the 8th and we expect the 9th next year. Those who are the cause and source of waste cannot stop waste. Those who say that there is no saving on prestige, those who live in palaces with 1,000 rooms and 1,500 rooms, those who board the biggest planes in the world, those who say that there is no saving on prestige cannot convince the nation to tighten their belts and save the public sector. But as CHP, we will obey our own circular, and we will obey the public circular to be issued. Because as CHP, we are very afraid of waste, haram and lies.’


‘On the one hand, since the evening of 31 March, I, my dear friends, my deputies, provincial and district presidents have been trying to act with the responsibility of being the first party of Turkey. We are endeavouring and struggling for the dominance of a new political understanding that serves only the interests of the citizens in our country. Since the nation has pinned its hopes on us for the solution of the problems in the last elections, since it has given us the authority, since it has shown a warning, a yellow card to those who authorised it only 10 months ago and said that it has hope in us, it is the responsibility of all of us to fulfil this duty. The hope of workers, the unemployed, the retired, unappointed teachers, interview victims, internship and apprenticeship victims, retired non-commissioned officers, farmers who pour their sweat into the soil, young people who have lost hope, tearful mothers, those who are ignored, despised and those who do not know where to seek their rights have only one friend, CHP. They are CHP supporters. If the CHP sees these problems, knows how they can be solved, but does not tell anyone about them and does not put its hand under the stone, it means that it is not ready for power. We will be there to show the right path, to propose the right policies, to voice the objections of the nation and to meet, negotiate and endeavour with whomever it is necessary to meet, negotiate and endeavour for this cause, but while these are being done, whoever is struggling where, on the street on the street, in the square in the square, in Saraçhane in Saraçhane, in Taksim in Taksim, in Parliament in Parliament. Let no one doubt that we will continue to fight for them.’


‘As in the local election campaign, in this new period, we will not be preoccupied with any issue that is not the concern of the people and we will not waste time. We will not follow the agenda diverters while the people's agenda is standing, we will not increase the tension and make the main issues unspeakable because someone wants it, whatever the agenda that wants to make the real problem of the citizen invisible by fogging it, whether it is called the constitution or the father law. Let all my nation be aware of and be sure that we will fight unemployment and precariousness with the hungry stomach of the nation, low salaries and restricted freedoms. Let them be confident. From now on, whenever and wherever there is a victim, CHP will feel in its heart a drop of tear flowing from the eyes of the victim, his/her spouse, his/her child. If there is a hungry person, it feels his/her unsatisfied stomach in the bosom of its son/daughter. Whoever is oppressed, he feels himself in the place where he is oppressed. He is also at the neck of the oppressor. He is at the centre of the struggle. We will be here again next week at the end of completely different processes. We will be eye to eye, heart to heart. Until that day, friends, we will continue with new politics, hardworking, productive and brave politics.’


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