Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu
is “fabricating issues” in order to keep himself on Turkey’s news agenda, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
has claimed, after the former said he “is prepared” amid speculation that he will be jailed.
“Is there any such thing from the judiciary? He is fabricating such things in order to keep himself on the agenda,” Erdoğan said on Aug. 21.
His comments came after the president and the CHP
head engaged in a bitter row, triggering speculation that s main opposition leader might face jail as part of the case into the leaking of footage of a weapons-laden National Intelligence Office (MİT) truck heading into Syria in January 2015.
“I don’t want to think of a scenario in which the head of Turkey’s main opposition is behind bars,” Kılıçdaroğlu told the Hürriyet Daily News’ Barçın Yinanç on Aug. 21, adding that such an incident would only “strengthen the opposition.”
“No one’s life or property is secure in Turkey. When I say no one, it includes me too,” he said, in response to a question on whether he expects to be jailed.
When asked about Kılıçdaroğlu’s comments, President Erdoğan said “there is no such a thing on my agenda.”
He had implied on Aug. 13 that the CHP
head could be linked to the ongoing probe over the MİT trucks, which were reported at the time as heading to rebel groups fighting in Syria.
lawmaker Enis Berberoğlu was jailed for 25 years over “leaking state secrets” to the media in the incident in July, Erdoğan recently said “do not be surprised if a connection between Kılıçdaroğlu and the imprisoned individual surfaces.”
“I hear from the jail that a certain person said he will talk if it means he will be released,” he also said, referring to Berberoğlu.
Berberoğlu himself strongly denied the allegations and CHP
officials also blasted Erdoğan’s comments.
“The only people who I have spoken to are CHP
deputies and my lawyers,” Berberoğlu said on Aug. 14 in a letter sent from prison via his lawyers.