Our prime minister is not a socialist: Ruling AKP’s Çelik
"Mr. Prime Minister is a conservative and democratic person, but he is not a socialist," Hüseyin Çelik said Oct.3. AA photoPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is a conservative and democratic person, but not a socialist, ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) spokesperson Hüseyin Çelik has said, commenting on Erdoğan’s adviser Yiğit Bulut’s controversial claim that the prime minister was a “true socialist.”
“Our prime minister can be as socialist as Caliph Omar [who was known for his justice and care for the poor] is. Securing social justice and introducing a welfare state does not mean being a socialist. During our prime minister’s tenure, social justice and a welfare state have been put into practice. Mr. Prime Minister is a conservative and democratic person, but he is not a socialist,” Çelik told reporters Oct.3.
Speaking at a conference in Istanbul on Oct. 1, Erdoğan’s adviser Bulut addressed those who identified themselves with concepts such as the left, socialism and justice and asked: “Have you said one word about the banking system or labor rights in Turkey in the last 60 years? Have you said anything against the interests of capital groups? If you had said a single word, I will apologize to socialists. If there is a true socialist in Turkey, it is Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.”
Bulut, the former news anchor and editor-in-chief of private news broadcaster 24 TV, was appointed as Erdoğan’s chief adviser in July.
Commenting on Bulut’s controversial remarks, Çelik said that Erdoğan had made efforts to secure social justice in Turkey and cared for the poor. “Maybe Mr. Bulut intended to emphasize our prime minister’s efforts as such, if so, all right. But I cannot label our prime minister as a ‘socialist,” Çelik said.