CHP chair backs Akşener in debate with Erdoğan
Rıfat Başaran- ANKARA
Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has said he is lending his support to his main election ally Meral Akşener, the leader of İYİ (Good) Party, in a row flared up recently with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who has threatened to send her to jail for “offending nationalists.”
“Erdoğan has assumed the job of a judge. It is highly possible that the date of sentencing [Akşener] and by which judge it will be issued have already been instructed. The Justice Ministry will surely fulfill it,” Kılıçdaroğlu told daily Hürriyet yesterday.
Erdoğan is ramping up pressure against the opposition because he has understood that he will lose in the upcoming local elections, he stated.
Tension between Akşener and Erdoğan heightened after the İYİ Party leader slammed the president for labeling all the citizens who will likely vote for the opposition “Nation Alliance” — between the CHP and İYİ Party — as terrorists at one of her rallies last week.
“This can’t be called a joke. It’s shamelessness. I have sued her for libel. We will settle our accounts there, too. But this lady has no place to run. She is not a member of parliament. Her account will be heavy,” Erdoğan said in return.
Saying that there are people who are in prison paying the price of their actions, Erdoğan said: “Your partners are paying this price. You, too, will pay the price.”
Akşener denounced Erdoğan’s warnings late March 9 and said she is not afraid of his threats.
“Any judicial action against Akşener will be interpreted as yet another example of the government’s influence on the judiciary, and it will never be seen as a prosecution, but an execution of an instruction given under a one-man regime,” Kılıçdaroğlu said. “One should not get surprised by these things in undemocratic countries where one man is the sole decision maker.”