Nation Alliance slams escalation during Akşener's visit to Black Sea region
Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has said a verbal attack against İYİ (Good) Party leader Meral Akşener in the Black Sea province of Rize is an organized act.
The perpetrators of the incident “have not taken their share of democracy” he said, speaking to private Sözcü TV on May 20.
“It is never acceptable to attack a political party leader or not to make her speak. They are those who have not had their share of the democracy culture,” the CHP leader said.
In his Twitter post, Kılıçdaroğlu again criticized the verbal attack and called on President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan “not to be afraid of early elections.”
Akşener encountered the reaction of a group on May 20 while visiting tradesmen in İkizdere district of northern Rize province, where there have been weekslong protests against quarry works. A woman approached Akşener and accused her of cooperating with the illegal PKK group. “What are you doing here,” the woman asked.
Akşener quickly responded to the woman, denying the accusations.
The tension quickly became a verbal altercation between the reacting group and party members, prompting police to intervene in the incident. Akşener cut her visit short.
“That ugliness could not and will not be able to cover our act of standing next to the rights claim we are trying to do,” Akşener told reporters after the incident.
The incident came after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Akşener exchanged a war of words after the latter compared him to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.