Turkey’s former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has accused economy administration of manipulating inflation figures, as he commented on his party’s program.
Davutoğlu, who founded the Future Party late last year following his resignation from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), said that he witnessed the attempt to manipulate the figures when he was the prime minister.
“They wanted to make changes in the inflation basket during our term. I said, ‘No.’ When you change the inflation basket, the equation may change,” Davutoğlu told daily Karar on Jan. 21.
“Now, they not only play with numbers, but also attempt to collect money via introducing taxes. This destroys the budget systematic. I don’t think that there is an eye overlooking the entire economy,” he added.
Saying that the Future Party will announce its economic program, Davutoğlu noted that economic recovery can’t be established if the problems in the judiciary and bureaucracy are not resolved.
“Competent people need to be in charge of this administration. Think about a doctor who tells his patient that he is fine by changing his test results. The patient says ‘I’m dying,’ but the doctor says, ‘Look at the figures, your test results are fine.’ The economy administration in Turkey is doing exactly this,” the Future Party leader said.
State of emergency decrees
During the interview, Davutoğlu said that there are four factors that led to the AKP’s decline, with the first one being the state of emergency decrees.
Thousands of people were sacked from their posts as part of a widespread crackdown launched after the July 15, 2016 failed coup attempt, which is widely believed to have been orchestrated by the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen.
The government declared a state of emergency following the attempted takeover, with the decrees issued during the period still being criticized due to them being used to silence dissent.
Davutoğlu blames HDP for the collapse of peace process
Davutoğlu also cited the appointment of trustees to municipalities held by the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) as one of the four factors.
The former Prime Minister was also asked about the peace process that aimed to end the years-long conflict between the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the state, with the HDP playing a major role.
Davutoğlu, who was on duty during the peace process, blamed the HDP and its former co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş for ending the process.
He also said that he met with Demirtaş, who has been imprisoned since Nov. 4, 2016, in his office on Oct. 1, 2014, and told the former co-chair that the PKK needs to lay down arms and the HDP should distance itself from “terror.”
Five days after their meeting, thousands of people took to the streets to protest Turkey’s ban on weapons transfers to People’s Protection Units (YPG) militants, PKK’s Syrian affiliate, during the ISIS siege on northern Syrian town of Kobani.
Masses flooded the streets of major cities and the majority-Kurdish southeast during the protests, resulting in the deaths of over 30 people.
‘HDP didn’t distance itself from terror’
Davutoğlu said that he talked to Demirtaş on the phone during the protests.
“I told him to refrain from speeches that would provoke people,” Davutoğlu said, adding that he aimed to continue the peace process until March 2015 on condition that the PKK lays down weapons “as promised in 2013.”
Saying that arrogance prevailed in HDP after the June 7, 2015 elections, which saw the party passing the threshold and challenging the AKP, Davutoğlu noted that PKK started its attacks after the said date, but the HDP “didn’t condemn it.”
He also said that he visited the HDP on July 15, 2015 and warned the party to not launch protests similar to those of Oct. 6-8, 2014.
“I told them, ‘I will never allow the disturbance of the public order,'” he said, adding that the HDP “was acting in a way that they could do whatever they could.”
“We ordered the fight against terror following the martyring of two police officers in Ceylanpınar on July 22,” Davutoğlu said, referring to the killing of two police officers in the Ceylanpınar district of the Urfa province in 2015 – an incident with a number of unanswered questions.
The Ceylanpınar incident is widely known as what ended the peace process. Following the incident, widespread military operations were launched against the PKK in Turkey’s southeast that saw major human rights abuses.