PM Erdoğan seeking presidency out of greed: CHP leader

PM Erdoğan seeking presidency out of greed: CHP leader

PM Erdoğan seeking presidency out of greed: CHP leader

Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu speaks during the parliamentary group meeting on June 24. AA Photo

The main motive behind Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s presidential ambitions is simply his greed for further wealth, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has said.

Allegations that surfaced with the Dec. 17, 2013 corruption probe about the involvement of Erdoğan and his children in unprecedented levels of graft were again focused on by Kılıçdaroğlu, as he addressed his party’s parliamentary group on June 24.

The CHP leader criticized Erdoğan for labeling all claims about himself and his government as part of a grand plot by followers of U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, with whom he has long been in a severe rift.

“Whenever something happens, Erdoğan has been linking all kinds of reasons behind them to Pennsylvania. Now, I have been wondering, I suppose it must be Pennsylvania that is blocking the inquiry commission [into corruption]. Who else could block it?” Kılıçdaroğlu said, referring to the delay in the forming of a parliamentary commission to probe four former ministers involved in the corruption claims.

Pennsylvania is one of the bywords used for Gülen and his followers in Turkish politics. The 73-year-old preacher, who has lived in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania since 1997, has been accused by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government of orchestrating damaging fabricated graft probes targeting officials and businessmen close to Erdoğan.

“Presumably, [the establishment of the commission] is also under his [Gülen’s] order,” Kılıçaroğlu said, in a sarcastic tone.

“If you are an honorable man, if you haven’t seized anybody’s rightful due, then why don’t you establish the commission?” he added, calling on Erdoğan.

“Now, the gentleman is set for the presidency, just to get all the marbles,” Kılıçdaroğlu said, suggesting that Erdoğan was seeking opportunities for further corruption by holding the presidential post.
The CHP head also reiterated his harsh criticism of Parliament Speaker Cemil Çiçek over the delay in forming the inquiry commission.

“Come and say openly, ‘I’m not the Parliament speaker, I’m representing the AKP group.’ If this [commission] does not happen, then Çiçek will be one of those responsible for covering up corruption,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.