Erdoğan, if elected, will cause Turkey severe trouble: CHP

Erdoğan, if elected, will cause Turkey severe trouble: CHP

Erdoğan, if elected, will cause Turkey severe trouble: CHP

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The election of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to the presidency will cause severe troubles to Turkey, the leader of the main opposition has said, stressing that his ethnic and sect-based policies would further drag the country into the Middle East quagmire.

“I call on my people: If you want war, if you want our children to be killed in wars in the Middle East, go and vote for Erdoğan. But if you want peace, if you want Turkey to help the Middle East to resolve its problems, then vote for Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu,” Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, leader of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) told Hürriyet Daily News yesterday.

For Kılıçdaroğlu, the main reason for this is Erdoğan’s policy of importing ethnic and sectarian conflicts from the Middle East to Turkey. “I am afraid he will drag Turkey into war in the Middle East. He will put Turkey into severe trouble.”

Recalling that 49 Turkish citizens, including Turkey’s consul-general in Mosul, have been kept as hostages by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) for nearly two months, Kılıçdaroğlu asked: “Have you ever heard Erdoğan speaking about this issue? No, because he does not want to anger ISIL. It was him who supplied weapons to ISIL and to al-Qaeda. And now these weapons are being used against Turkey and its citizens.”

The main opposition leader suggested that because of Turkey’s poor foreign policy performance, the country has lost its credibility and influence in the region to countries such as Iran and Egypt. “No one is knocking on Turkey’s doors. He [Erdoğan] confessed himself that he can’t talk to [Barack] Obama [the President of the U.S.],” he said, adding Turkey’s image has been completely tarnished by Erdoğan. “No world leader wants to be seen next to a corrupt president,” KIlıçdaroğlu stressed.

İhsanoğlu may win in the first round

With days left to the elections, Kılıçdaroğlu shared his optimism that the opposition’s joint candidate can even win the Aug. 10 election in the first round. “You never know, he may win it,” Kılıçdaroğlu stated.

Underlining that 60 percent of the society wants an impartial president and that perfectly defines İhsanoğlu, Kılıçdaroğlu said, “What is the function of the president? Obviously not making roads or building bridges. The president is a person representing the country and its flag. Therefore, he has to be fully clean and not corrupt.”

MHP should be more active

For the social democrat leader, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) who allied themselves with the CHP in nominating İhsanoğlu for the presidency should be more active in campaigning over the next few days. “We would like to see the MHP more active in the field, especially in their strongholds, like the Black Sea and the central Anatolian towns. Prominent MHP figures should stand more with İhsanoğlu,” Kılıçdaroğlu said, adding that MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli was already holding public rallies to this end.

Complaining that time for campaigning and fund raising for the elections was short, Kılıçdaroğlu said it would be better if the fund raising process for candidates began at an earlier time.

“Erdoğan is using all of the states’ apparatus [to strengthen his campaign]. He is using an enormous amount of money. The two other candidates, however, are using their own limited resources. We will try to study the amount of money they [AKP] are spending on billboards and compare it with the amount of money donated to his campaign,” he added.

The law on presidential elections needs to be amended, he said, adding a live debate between the candidates should be mandatory and implemented in the law. “He is afraid of appearing together with the other candidates. Because you know, it’s a common character of dictators. All dictators are cowards,” he said.

Erdoğan chasing MHP votes

According to Kılıçdaroğlu, Erdoğan’s strategy for the presidential elections has two folds. He is trying to turn the presidential polls into general elections in which political parties are competing and that’s why he is provoking Kılıçdaroğlu and Bahçeli, the CHP leader said. “He is doing this because he wants to consolidate his voters,” he said. His second strategy is to chase MHP votes by using nationalistic language, Kılıçdaroğlu maintained, saying, “He depicts himself as the candidate of the people. What people? He is the candidate of the corrupt people and of the thieves.”

Demirtaş gives positive messages

As for the third candidate, Selahattin Demirtaş, Kılıçdaroğlu used positive language to describe the presidential candidate of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), saying he found his campaign messages to be positive. “I find the messages of Mr. Demirtaş’s issued and his manners, as well as his approach of being ‘Turkey’s party’ throughout the election process positive,” Kılıçdaroğlu said. But, he added, the number of CHP voters who will decide to vote for Demirtaş on Aug. 10 will be few, contrary to expectations.

Kılıçdaroğlu’s leadership

When asked if his chairmanship would be affected if the CHP was not successful in the 2015 general elections, Kılıçdaroğlu said: “It’s not right for anybody to insist in staying as the chairman of the party forever. The party should be able to develop a candidate who can be the party’s future leaders. Young, better educated potential leaders should not be blocked. That’s what I believe,” he added.