Main opposition leader hopes President Erdoğan will change rhetoric on naysayers
ANKARAMain opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has responded positively to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s unplanned visit to the campaign pavilion of the opposition party, saying he hopes Erdoğan will have changed his contention that naysayers are terrorists.
“While visiting the ‘no’ tent, I hope Mr. President has abandoned his point of view in which he accuses the naysayers of being terrorists,” Kılıçdaroğlu said in a televised interview on CNN Türk late on March 28.
His comments came after Erdoğan paid an unusual visit on March 28 to a CHP tent which was set up to promote a “no” vote ahead of the April 16 referendum on constitutional changes. Following a brief visit to a stall set up as part of the “yes” campaign, Erdoğan also dropped in at the “no” tent nearby where he spoke to “no” campaigners for around 15 minutes.
Kılıçdaroğlu welcomed the visit, calling the visit “a nice incident” while emphasizing the importance of the impartiality of the presidential post.
“I hope people at the tent paid respect to the president because there should be respect for this post,” he said.
“In line with its impartiality, the presidency represents [all] 80 million [Turkish citizens]. That is why it has to be our shared value,” he said while criticizing Erdoğan for accusing him of being a liar.
“It is nice for the president, who has to be impartial, to visit the ‘yes’ tent or the ‘no’ tent. But the language he uses saying, ‘Kılıçdaroğlu is lying,’ does not befit the president,” he said, reiterating an earlier call for a joint televised interview featuring the president and the leaders of political parties from both camps.
‘No’ votes leading
According to information the CHP has received from the various organizations, the “no” votes are ahead, Kılıçdaroğlu said.
“We haven’t have made a survey, but we have received many surveys from international organizations or organizations from Turkey. As far as I have seen, all surveys indicate that the ‘no’ votes are ahead,” he said.