President Erdoğan has turned Turkey into a tribal state: CHP head

President Erdoğan has turned Turkey into a tribal state: CHP head

President Erdoğan has turned Turkey into a tribal state: CHP head

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has accused President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of turning Turkey into “a tribal state” through foreign policy missteps and his overarching influence on all executive and legislative process in the country.

“He keeps on saying that the Turkish Republic is not a tribal state ... But you are trying to turn the Turkish Republic into a tribal state. We are struggling to prevent this from happening,” Kılıçdaroğlu said on Oct. 17, addressing his party group at parliament.

His comments came after Erdoğan stressed on Oct. 9 that “Turkey is a state of law, we are not a tribe or a tribal state,” in response to diplomatic tension between Washington and Ankara over the U.S.’s visa restrictions on Turkish citizens following the arrest of a U.S. Consulate official.

“You cannot talk about democracy in a country where there are impositions, corruption and 9 million poor people. That is called a tribal state,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.

Referring to Erdoğan’s comment on contentious legislation waiting to be voted on in parliament allowing religious state officials to perform marriages, Kılıçdaroğlu called Erdoğan “a tribal leader.”

“A tribal leader instructs and everybody follows their instruction,” he said, in reference to the president’s vow to pass the law amid fierce objections from opposition parties and women’s rights groups.

“He said ‘this law will pass in parliament.’ A tribal leader said it. Why do I call [him] a tribal leader? Because the parliament speaker is silent. The parliament speaker cannot say ‘this is parliament and nobody can interfere with its will,’” Kılıçdaroğlu said.

“[Erdoğan] also has his ‘subjects’ here, the lawmakers of his own party. None of them can say they have their own will or question why he is speaking on behalf of them,” the CHP leader added.

“This is the leader of a tribal state. When he instructs, [lawmakers] come and vote,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.