Main opposition leader 'glad' Turkish PM wants to sue him over al-Assad comparison

Main opposition leader 'glad' Turkish PM wants to sue him over al-Assad comparison

ISTANBUL - Doğan News Agency
Main opposition leader glad Turkish PM wants to sue him over al-Assad comparison

The CHP also penned a letter calling the European Socialist group President to resign, after he showed outrage over Kılıçdaroğlu's remarks likening Turkish Prime Minister Erdoğan to Bashar al-Assad. AA photo

Main opposition leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has said he is "glad" that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is planning to sue him over his remarks likening him to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. 

"He is going to refer me to the court, over my accusations. In fact, I am very glad [about it]. Do you know why? Because that way we will shed light into what happened in Uludere," Kılıçdaroğlu told reporters May 18, referring to the military airstrike that killed 34 civilians in the southeastern province of Şırnak in December 2011.

The Republican People's Party (CHP) leader has repeatedly accused the government of trying to cover the facts by stating that civilians were mistaken for outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) militants in the airstrike.

"This was a massacre. We will [seize the opportunity] to give a petition and request that the perpetrators, those who gave the instructions, will appear in front of the court. The best part of the trial will be that a dark event will be brought to light, if the court does its duty," he said.

Kılıçdaroğlu had argued that there was only a "difference in shades" between Erdoğan and al-Assad, speaking at a joint press briefing with the president of the group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament, Hannes Swoboda, in Brussels on May 15.

The statement had sparked a rift between the CHP and the European Socialist group. The veteran Austrian politician had asked Kılıçdaroğlu to retract his statement and their meeting was subsequently canceled, with both sides claiming to be the ones who had taken the decision.

Erdoğan told reporters in Washington that he would not be answering Kılıçdaroğlu's accusations, but would rather refer him to court. "Because of my background, I would know very well how to answer him with the same language, but I don't want to sink to such a low level," Erdoğan said May 17.

Letter calling on Swoboda to resign

Meanwhile, the CHP has sent an official letter calling on Swoboda to resign from his presidency of the European Socialist group. "You have joined hands with those who have performed bloody scenarios. If you want to be referred to with dignity in the future, you should resign from the chair that you occupy," the letter reads.