Turkey's Erdoğan slams all three opposition party leaders
DHA PhotoThe leaders of the three primary opposition parties currently represented in parliament received their daily dose of opprobrium from President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on June 4 as the putatively impartial head of state conducted his latest pre-election “meeting with the people” in Sivas.
Erdoğan bombarded the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) – parties that are from opposite ends of Turkey’s political spectrum – with accusations that there is electoral solidarity and cooperation between the two.
As for main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, Erdoğan focused on lies that were allegedly told by the CHP leader to the public.
“There is an election on Sunday. We are again in a war of liberation. The party which shed blood from taps and the party which claims they are nationalists linked arms and took their places,” Erdoğan said, respectively referring to billboards used by the HDP in Van and to the MHP.
“They say ‘If we cannot pass the threshold, our settlement is the mountains.’ They are controlled from the mountain,” he said.
The HDP is challenging to become the first-ever party oriented by the Kurdish issue to win 10 percent of the vote and cross the threshold needed to enter parliament as a party. In the quote, Erdoğan was referring to a placard raised during a rally and suggested that the HDP was actually under the tutelage of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the headquarters of which is based in the Kandil Mountains of northern Iraq.
“Now [MHP leader Devlet] Bahçeli exerts effort in favor of them [the HDP] to get them into parliament. Those who called us every name in the book while we were carrying out the resolution process in order to stop grieving mothers are now walking cheek by jowl with those who made mothers cry. Those who would not at all be imagined side by side are now together,” Erdoğan said.
“Lying has become their character. Recently I was on a live broadcast on TRT. [CHP leader Kemal] Kılıçdaroğlu lives and breathes with a gold closet. What did I say during the broadcast? ‘Come, tour and see. If there is a gold-plated toilet seat, I will abandon this position. If you demonstrate, what about abandoning the head of the CHP?’ I said. He cannot. In the evening there is a lie, in the morning there is a lie,” he said.
Erdoğan recently took Kılıçdaroğlu to court for claiming that his gargantuan palace had gold-plated toilet seats, arguing that by such “slander and lies,” the opposition leader had crossed the limits of freedom of expression.