Erdoğan calls on Kılıçdaroğlu to prove alleged meeting with CHP member
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Nov. 22 called on the leader of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu to “prove his claims” that Erdoğan met a CHP member at the presidential office to lend support for taking leadership of the opposition party.
“If you cannot prove it, leave [the chairmanship of the CHP],” Erdoğan said, speaking at an opening ceremony.
The president said he would leave the Justice and Development Party (AKP) leadership if the claim is proved.
He accused Kılıçdaroğlu of being a “liar”.
Daily Sözcü columnist Rahmi Turan on Nov. 19 claimed that a CHP member had a meeting with Erdoğan and the president proposed to help the member to join the CHP’s leadership. Meanwhile, CHP leader Kılıçdaroğlu said he was inclined to think that the claim is true. Speaking at FOX TV broadcaster on Nov. 21, Kılıçdaroğlu said when he saw the article, he was not “surprised.”
The president said his party was assessing the outcomes of the March 31 local elections during which the ruling party lost control of major cities Istanbul and Ankara.
“We will continue with a fresh spirit,” he said, calling on party members to strengthen their staffs by hiring influential locals from their polling districts.
Responding to the CHP leader’s criticism of Turkey’s interference into Syria, Erdoğan questioned why the main opposition party members are in contact with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Erdoğan suggested that the CHP’s rhetoric was in line with the YPG and illegal PKK. The president said the CHP does not state that the PKK is a terror organization.
Erdoğan also slammed the CHP for “attacking” a woman deputy of the AKP during a heated argument that broke out regarding the late former Prime Minister Bülent Ecevit.
“According to them [the CHP], a woman must be a servant. According to them, a woman must work on a plantation, collect tomatoes, peppers. But they get crazy when they see a legist,” Erdoğan said, referring to an AKP lawmaker.
Tensions rose in the parliament on Nov. 19 between AKP and CHP deputies concerning a photo of Ecevit taken with former U.S. President Bill Clinton.
AKP group Deputy Chair Özlem Zengin said that in the photo, Ecevit “grovels” to Clinton. After the argument, CHP group Deputy Chair Engin Özkoç said Zengin’s statements were “out of limits” and the parliament’s deputy speaker should “bring her into line.” Özkoç later said he was sorry if he did something to upset the AKP deputy.