Facing probe, CHP head defends ‘sham dictator’ comment

Facing probe, CHP head defends ‘sham dictator’ comment

Facing probe, CHP head defends ‘sham dictator’ comment


Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu insisted on calling President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan a “sham dictator” in his weekly address to party MPs on Jan. 19, while slamming Erdoğan for “spending too much.” 

“What he gets angry about is not the fact that I call him a dictator. He gets angry when I call him the ‘sham dictator.’ Because he could not even be a dictator,” Kılıçdaroğlu said, in reference to news that a prosecutor’s investigation has been launched into his earlier comments. 

The CHP head said he had previously used the word “dictator” during a public meeting in the Aegean province of Aydın and the president did not react to it then. 

“But when I called him the ‘sham dictator,’ he took offense. He sued me. I will do nothing about it. I’ll just send [the court] his oath at parliament. I’m not the one who took that oath; he is. In that oath he swore impartiality. He will account for this,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.

In response to Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ, who said the CHP head’s remarks also “insulted the public” as Erdoğan was elected with 52 percent of the votes, Kılıçdaroğlu recalled that Kenan Evren, the leader of the 1980 military coup, was supported by 92 percent of the votes.

“The first [thing about] dictators is that they are thieves. There are no dictators who are not thieves,” he said. 

“Their second characteristic is that they see public resources as their own wallet,” he added, noting that the government would be presenting its new budget without a number of key reports from the Court of Accounts. 

“Let me give you one example. [The president] spent 1.616 billion Turkish Liras in the first 11 months [of 2015] from the discretionary fund. No one knows what he spent this money on. [10th president] Ahmet Necdet Sezer spent only 167.4 million liras in seven years. [His successor] Abdullah Gül remained impartial as far as he could, and he spent 722 million liras,” Kılıçdaroğlu said, adding that Erdoğan has “already spent 2.8 billion liras in just one-and-a-half years in office. 

Meanwhile, the CHP leader also noted that there had been no terror incidents when the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) came to power in 2002, since when the country had turned into a “blood bath,” referring to recent clashes in the southeast. 

“Terrorism used to be in the mountains. Now it is in the city centers,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.

Meanwhile, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu spoke on the anniversary, echoing demands that the perpetrators be brought to light through an effective investigation.

Speaking at his party’s parliamentary group meeting in Ankara on Jan. 19, Kılıçdaroğlu also referred to the killing of prominent lawyer and human rights activist Tahir Elçi, who was shot dead in Diyarbakır last year after gunmen opened fire at police officers, saying it was yet another unsolved murder in Turkey. Elçi’s killing has often been likened to the killing of Dink since it took place on Nov. 28, 2015.

Kılıçdaroğlu also referred to the fact that journalist Nedim Şener had served a considerable prison sentence after penning a book documenting the assassination of Dink.