Pitting people against each other to win elections not right: CHP head
Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has slammed President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s election campaign rhetoric for the upcoming March 31 elections, saying discriminating citizens according to their ideological affiliations is not right.
“It is not acceptable to polarize society by regarding some segments as friends and some as enemies. This is unfortunately the point we have come to. It is not right to claim that half of the public are terrorists and the other half are patriots,” Kılıçdaroğlu said on March 22 at a meeting with village heads and NGO representatives in the Black Sea province of Ordu.
“I welcome anyone who loves and respects this country’s flag and nation, no matter which party they vote for. It is not right to discriminate the citizens in accordance with the parties they vote for,” he added.
Kılıçdaroğlu also drew attention to Turkey’s financial troubles, stressing tradesmen’s critical role in economic growth.
“Tradesmen are no burden to the government, on the contrary, they pay taxes and provide employment,” he said.
The party leader asserted that because of the massive shopping malls all around Turkey, tradesmen were having difficulties making ends meet.
“They are becoming history,” he said.
“Nevertheless, they voted for the party who initially put them in this situation. Why isn’t the withholding tax being lifted? [CHP] wants and supports the removal of withholding tax yet the ruling party says otherwise!” he added.
Kılıçdaroğlu recalled the government’s ambitious plan to enhance local automobile production, questioning why it is still not being done after many pledges made by businessmen and ministers.
“Turkey will produce automobiles; that’s an ordinary occurrence right now. But to whom will you sell these cars? Will you be able to establish a truly strong brand? Turkey can do this but a powerful political will is necessary,” he said.
The party leader once again condemned a governmental decree which transferred the operational rights of a national tank factory to a Qatari venture for 25 years. He claimed some soldiers at the factory were signing petitions to request their resignations.
“Why are they doing that? Because they do not want to carry this sin of sharing the nation’s confidential information to a foreign army,” he added.