Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdoğan throws flowers in an event formally announcing the Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) mayoral candidates. AA photo
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
has made an expectedly bellicose start to his party’s bid for victory in the March 30 local elections, daring the Gülen Movement and the Republican People’s Party (CHP) to release “any wiretappings if they have the courage.”
“The country’s president and prime minister are wiretapped. The prime minister’s ordinary conversations are being sent [for release online]. We were not scared and will not be. We did not come up over wiretappings. We have never indulged in that. Let me see if you can. Release whatever you have,” Erdoğan said Feb. 19, addressing an event formally announcing the Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) mayoral candidates.
Those who release the “illegal wiretappings” will pay for it, including those in bureaucracy, the prime minister said.
“Those who remain silent and those who support those [who release the files] will pay in the same way,” Erdoğan said.
The prime minister said they would not let wiretappings take over Turkey’s agenda. He also threatened to penalize media which he said “lynched” a headscarved woman at the center of a debate from last year’s Gezi protests.
Security camera footage disclosed Feb. 13 revealed there was no physical attack on a woman who claimed she and her baby were attacked by up to 100 half-naked protesters at the Kabataş dock in Istanbul at the height of the nationwide Gezi resistance on the grounds that she was wearing a headscarf.
The claims had been widely reported in the media, although the footage regarding the alleged incident that took place on June 1, 2013, did not surface for months.
Erdoğan also suggested that the CHP
was acting in concert with the Gülen Movement. “The ropes of CHP
are in the hands of organization of assassins,” he said.
The prime minister criticized Kılıçdaroğlu for revealing wiretappings in Parliament even though it is a crime and said, “The CHP
has been captured by the blackmail and wiretappings of the parallel organization.”
The main opposition party is paying the price for previous wiretappings, Erdoğan said, suggesting that Kılıçdaroğlu took over the leadership of the CHP
thanks to wiretappings and would leave his post due to wiretappings as well.
has captured a role for itself from the Dec. 17 coup d’état,” Erdoğan said.
The prime minister also slammed on Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) for defending the Gezi protests after party leader Develt Bahçeli called on Erdoğan to apologize for “lies on the Kabataş incident.”
“What has brought you to the same line with the Gezi protesters, with the CHP, with parallel organization?” Erdoğan asked and called on Bahçeli to divulge the blackmail against the MHP.
Erdoğan also said his party would challenge to build cities which accord with their “vision for civilization.” “From now on, we will go for delicate workmanship,” Erdoğan added.
Erdoğan has asked his party organization to tell everyone, particularly members of the Gülen Movement, about the performance of the AKP over the past 11 years.