CHP leader says AKP behind all ills of economy, rising unemployment
Staggering unemployment, high costs of living, a weakening Turkish Lira in the global economy and economic mismanagement are all the doing of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has said.
“The government is trying to garner votes by creating concerns and fears in the minds of people because they have not much to sell. Can they say ‘We have solved the unemployment problem’? No, because they could not in 17 years. To the contrary, the number of unemployed people has increased,” Kılıçdaroğlu said on a program aired by more than 40 radio stations on March 28.
The economy is not performing well, the people are suffering from high costs of living and the Turkish Lira has become the most depreciated currency in the world, Kılıçdaroğlu said, adding that more than one million people were left jobless in the past year.
“There are serious problems. But they fail to explain how they will address these problems,” the CHP leader said. “Instead they have introduced a ‘national survival’ rhetoric.”
“Why would Turkey be destroyed? Turkey is one of strongest countries in its region. What do the local elections have to do with the country’s survival?” Kılıçdaroğlu said, referring to rhetoric Erdoğan voices often at election rallies that Turkey’s survival is at stake.
The election of CHP mayoral candidate for Istanbul Ekrem İmamoğlu will not create any survival problems, but instead solve all the problems Turkey’s largest city faces, the social democrat leader said, stressing that the real issue in Turkey is the fact that the government has no capacity to govern the country.
“Turkey has two windows: On one of them is the high society of the [presidential] palace. Everything is perfect for them. They have no any problems like unemployment or poverty. From the other window, you see the people. And unemployment is there. Hundreds of thousands of kids are going to bed hungry,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.
When one looks at Turkey from the window of the palace, they do not see the suffering of the people, he stressed, recalling that citizens are queuing in front of municipality-run stalls to buy cheap onions and other vegetables.
“Now the citizens are asking: I’ve voted for you for 17 years. I paid my taxes. But you increased the national debt from $70 billion to $500 billion in the 17 years and made people to wait in lines to buy cheap basic food items due to price increases,” he said.
Later in the day, Nation Alliance leaders Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu and Meral Akşener held a joint rally in the northwestern province of Bursa. Both chairs stressed that Turkey’s real problems were the deteriorating state of the economy and high costs of living and not “the survival of the nation” as the government suggests.
Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and İYİ (Good) Party leaders, Kılıçdaroğlu and Akşener, were in Bursa on March 28 where they had presented a joint candidate to win against the government’s nominee.
“They [government] say that there is a problem of survival. If that’s true, it means Turkey has no future. You may not be aware, but Turkey is one of the strongest states in the region. The actual problem is that Turkey does not produce anymore,” Kılıçdaroğlu stated.
People’s fridges are empty, the CHP leader said, stressing price hikes in food items and accusing President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his aides of not understanding this.
Akşener, for her part, condemned government circles for describing her as a PKK sympathizer and labeling many candidates of the Nation Alliance as associates of the PKK, which is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the EU and the U.S. “We will never be scared,” she said.
The real problem is the economy because of the inaptitude of Erdoğan and his son-in-law Finance Minister Berat Albayrak, Akşener stressed.