Opposition targeting me rather than seeking to rule Turkey: Erdoğan
Opposition parties’ efforts to form alliances in the upcoming snap election only target President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), Erdoğan has said, describing the opposition’s strategies as “traps.”
“They have mobilized all their forces only to express their animosity toward [the AKP] and myself, rather than seeking to rule Turkey. I am saying from here, with God’s will you will not succeed,” Erdoğan said on April 27 at a meeting of the AKP’s provincial heads in Ankara.
His comments came as the opposition continued talks to form alliances for the upcoming elections, after 15 lawmakers from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) resigned from the party to join the İYİ (Good) Party. The move enables the İYİ Party to form a parliamentary group, which was constitutionally necessary for it to take part in the election.
“Events that have happened over the last seven or eight days have shown our people who is seeking to build traps, who is trying to stage games, and who is working for them,” Erdoğan said.
“Don’t listen to those who accuse [the AKP] of being a ‘one-man regime.’ Those who want to see a dictator in this country should look at those who are forcing their 15 lawmakers to transfer parties in one night without giving an account to the nation,” Erdoğan said.
“Those 15 lawmakers were not elected by me, they were elected by the nation. You are dismissing them to somewhere else by taking them away from their home crying. Is such a thing possible? Dictators do that,” he added.
Erdoğan also touched on recent discussions about the possible candidacy of former President Abdullah Gül, without referring to Gül directly.
“What is important for us is not the name competing against us. Whoever it may be is not important. What is important is what we will tell our nation,” he said.
CHP spokesperson Bülent Tezcan responded to Erdoğan’s “dictatorship” comments by referring to the resignation of former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu in 2016.
“If Mr. Erdoğan is searching for a dictator, he should look at those who took away the seat of a prime minister who was elected with 49 percent of the votes,” Tezcan said at a press conference on April 27 in Ankara.
“Mr. Davutoğlu was overthrown by a coup of the presidential palace,” he added.
Davutoğlu took over from Erdoğan as prime minister after the latter was elected president in 2014, but he was pressured into resigning in 2016 amid a series of reported disagreements between the two.