"Democratic politics an esteemed institution in today's Turkey"
Fahrettin Altun, the head of the Directorate of Communications under the Turkish Presidency, said on Tuesday that "democratic politics in Turkey today is a very esteemed institution."
Speaking at an opening ceremony of an exhibition in Ankara, Altun compared Turkey's political atmosphere in the first two decades of the 21st century to 1970s, saying:
"Today, democratic politics in Turkey is a very esteemed institutions, and this has become possible only after our president turned the sphere of politics once more into a solution center after 2002."
Altun noted that "1970s was a period of radicalism that took hostage social spheres of life," referring to a decade in the Cold War era when a civil strife in Turkey left thousands of people dead.
Altun's remarks came a short time after the mayor of Turkey's largest city has been sentenced to nearly three years in prison for allegedly calling public officials "idiot" - for having annulled the results of the 2019 local election in Istanbul without any grounds, merely because the opposition won.
His remarks also came less than three weeks after Council of Europe Committee of Ministers called for the immediate release of Kurdish politician Selahattin Demirtas, who has been incarcerated since November 2016, and denied release despite a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ordering an end to his detention.
Altun's remarks came also a short time before a hearing in the Constitutional Court concerning the closure of the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), the third largest political party according to the results of the last parliamentary election in 2018.