CHP leader slams Turkish PM over corruption at first election rally
AA PhotoThe main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu on Feb. 28 slammed the government over corruption allegations during his first election rally in the Aegean province of Çanakkale.
Referring to the leaked phone conversations between Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his son, Kılıçdaroğlu referred to Erdoğan as a “personality,” emphasizing the CHP’s decision to stop prefixing the name of Turkey’s leader with either “Prime Minister” or “Mr.” following the corruption and bribery allegations that recently surfaced.
“He is not working for you [the nation], but for his pocket. I will never call him ‘prime minister’ again. He is the ‘prime thief,’” the CHP leader said, accusing Erdoğan of “robbing the Turkish Republic and his nation” and calling on citizens who previously voted for the AKP to “see the facts.”
Following the recent leak of phone recordings, Erdoğan has only denied them, but Kılıçdaroğlu said he should declare his or his relatives’ assets. He also censured Erdoğan for remaining in the seat of the prime minister and said he should leave his position “if he has any fear of God.”
In the Çanakkale speech, Kılıçdaroğlu also criticized broadcasters for interrupting his Feb. 25 speech at Parliament, during which he published the leaked conversations.
He also touched on the “encrypted phone” debate and said that the phones were given to Erdoğan to let him speak about state secrets, not to talk to his children and hide corruption.
He also underlined that comparing the recent phone leaks and records about former CHP leader Deniz Baykal was wrong, stressing that one of them involves private life, while the other is about “a theft that shows how a government and its ministers robbed the country.”