CHP leader Kılıçdaroğlu criticizes Erdoğan’s ‘silence’ on Zarrab case
Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has criticized President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for accusing him of slandering businesspeople by repeating allegations that the president’s close circle was sending money to an off-shore company.
“You [Erdoğan] are blaming me saying I am criticizing people who earn a living by doing business. I never criticized. You should first speak about Reza Zarrab,” Kılıçdaroğlu said on Dec. 22, referring to the Iranian-Turkish businessman who recently claimed he bribed ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) officials in a scheme to evade U.S. sanctions on Iran at a trial in New York.
“Neither me nor my close circle founded a company in the Isle of Man or Malta to evade taxes in Turkey. Now I want to ask Erdoğan: What kind of commercial links do your relatives have with the company in the Isle of Man?” he said.
“I said I would resign from politics and my post if what he was saying was true. I also asked him whether he would do the same if his allegations turned out to be fake. It was revealed that the papers he revealed had nothing to do with what he alleged. But he shamelessly continued,” Erdoğan said on Dec. 22.
“This person is someone who could not make even a cent from his own efforts besides what he earned from the state. He never got involved in commerce nor has he taken a risk or established a company,” he added.
“The main opposition leader said Turkey would have to choose between two options in the following elections [in 2019], stating that it will be a choice between those who stand by democracy and those supporting an authoritarian regime. If a person truly believes in democracy, he or she will respect what the nation will choose,” Erdoğan said.
“If you call people choosing what they like authoritarianism when it is not working in favor of you, then you are not a democrat, you are a fascist,” Erdoğan added.
“The CHP is leaning toward fascism just as it was when it was a one-party regime in the past. It is impossible to take this party, guised as a social democratic one but is actually fascist deep down, seriously,” he said.