Meral Akşener begins new party’s campaign in Turkey’s east
Akşener presented her campaign, titled “Reuniting Turkey in a Festive Dinner,” at a private residence in Bitlis to a group of journalists on Nov. 2, likening the gathering to a festive reunion between families in Turkey.The Good Party leader said she would continue the party’s campaign by visiting every city in Anatolia, introducing the campaign’s concept as “The Good Party is listening.”
“I will travel. I will engage with people and raise competition. When competition rises, everybody will be valued more,” she said.
She vowed the Good Party would embrace everyone in Turkey.
“Nobody is changing their shirts here,” she said, in reference to people’s political identities.“The nationalists are staying in their nationalist shirts, the leftists in their leftist shirts. We have a common point, and that is patriotism,” she said, while adding that she would not form a group in parliament with lawmakers who have recently joined the party.
During her stay in Bitlis, Akşener visited shops and spoke with local people, along with other members of the party.
“We no longer need uncles or brothers, we need sisters,” said Engin Ural, a shopkeeper who described himself as a long-time supporter of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
‘TEOG decision is a disaster’
Akşener criticized the removal of Turkey’s high school entrance exam (TEOG), calling the decision a “total disaster.”
TEOG was officially removed on Sept. 19 after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Sept. 15 said he hoped TEOG would be annulled immediately.
Akşener also stressed on inequalities that women suffer from in Turkey.
She said she wanted to set the quota of women’s participation in her party at 30 percent but had to drop it to 25 percent after facing opposition from men.
‘Critics are FETÖ members’
Responding to criticisms directed against her party, she said the majority of those who criticized her were affiliated to the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), which is believed to have been behind last year’s coup attempt.