CHP leader turns to Google to slam Erdoğan’s presidential candidacy as ‘disgraceful’

CHP leader turns to Google to slam Erdoğan’s presidential candidacy as ‘disgraceful’

CHP leader turns to Google to slam Erdoğan’s presidential candidacy as ‘disgraceful’

Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu speaks during CHP parliamentary group meeting July 1. AA Photo

Main opposition Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has described Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s contention for the upcoming presidential election as “disgraceful,” using examples from Google to support his case.

“Google ‘prime minister and liar,’ you have 450,000 results mentioning Erdoğan. Type ‘prime minister and thief,’ and you have 3.9 million results that mention him,” Kılıçdaroğlu said during the CHP parliamentary group meeting July 1.

“We will be disgraced in the eyes of the world,” he added.

Kılıçdaroğlu then dismissed Erdoğan’s criticism that the CHP’s joint candidate with the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu, the former Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) head and academic, was an unknown figure.

“When you Google İhsanoğlu’s name, the engine says he is ‘a scientist.’ Erdoğan says İhsanoğlu ‘is unknown [and] he hasn’t got any fame.’ May God spare anyone fame such as his [Erdoğan],” Kılıçdaroğlu said.

The CHP head also said Erdoğan had lost his reputation in “both the West and in the East,” particularly after the corruption allegations that emerged after December.

“Nobody with a shady past should be a presidential candidate. If all the fortune that you have accumulated through personal ambition was documented and disclosed to the world, you should not become a candidate,” he said.

Kılıçdaroğlu also slammed Erdoğan for “not believing in the separation of powers” and for not respecting human rights.

“Can someone who has incited [his supporters] to boo a 14-year-old boy talk about human rights?” he said in reference to the Gezi protests victim Berkin Elvan, who was hit in the head by a police gas canister and passed away on March 11, after having been in a coma for nine months. Erdoğan had accused Berkin of being a member of a terrorist organization during a rally, with the crowd booing as the Gezi victim’s name was mentioned.

Kılıçdaroğlu also recalled that Erdoğan allegedly slapped a protester during his visit to the disaster-stricken town of Soma after the mining disaster in which 301 workers died in May.

He defended the CHP’s candidate İhsanoğlu as a figure that all elements of society could vote for without being prejudiced. “If [the Turkish people] really believe in democracy, if they have had enough of corruption, enough of people insulting them, then they should go to the ballot boxes. That is my only request,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.

The main party targeting Kurdish votes, the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), on June 30 presented party co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş as its presidential candidate.