If former president Gül cannot speak out, who can? - Columnist
Fatih Altaylı responded to those criticising former president Abdullah Gül over speaking out against a state of emergency decree that appeared to legalise vigilantism in his column for pro-government HaberTürk newspaper.
“If someone who has been prime minister, foreign minister and president in this country cannot state his ideas about issues in Turkey, who can?” Altaylı asked.
Gül had come under criticism for calling a clause in the decree “ambiguous” and asking for it to be corrected after many, including top legal figures, read it as allowing impunity for those attacking those the government deems to be terrorists.
However, his contribution was seen by some loyalists to the Justice and Development Party (AKP), which Gül co-founded, as treachery against party leader Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Altaylı related that a friend from the party had called him up to tell him to stop defending Gül.
“Look at this, how many times has Abdullah Gül gone to Britain over recent months?” Altaylı related him as saying.
“Now even the freedom to travel is limited,” Altaylı said.
“If you state your opinions you cannot go overseas!”