Turkey governed by mafia-like methods: CHP leader
Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has slammed President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan over the resignation of Balıkesir Mayor Ahmet Edip Uğur, saying that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) was using mafia-like methods to force mayors to resign.
“The country has started being governed by mafia-like methods,” Kılıçdaroğlu told his party’s group in parliament on Oct. 31.
“To threaten a family is a method used by the mafia. Those holding a post within the government should not adopt such methods. If you do, you have to leave that position. You do not deserve it,” Kılıçdaroğlu added.
His comments came after Uğur, the mayor of the northwestern province of Balıkesir, announced his resignation from his post and his party membership on Oct. 30, the latest in a long-running saga over a number of resignations from the AKP.
In an emotional speech, Uğur said he was obliged to make this decision after he and his family were “threatened.”
The CHP leader said Uğur’s speech proved the way the ruling party was governing the country, accusing Erdoğan of “instructing the threatening.”
“In which moral reasoning can you blame the family of a person and put pressure on them? Which religion, belief, law, or constitution allows you to exercise power over the family of a mayor?” he said.
Speaking about a recent investigation launched into CHP spokesperson Bülent Tezcan after he called Erdoğan a “fascist dictator,” Kılıçdaroğlu said: “They [AKP] were uncomfortable with our spokesperson’s comments… To harass somebody’s family is the requirement of being a fascist dictator anyway.”
Immediately after Kılıçdaroğlu’s statement at parliament, AKP spokesperson Mahir Ünal issued strongly worded response, accusing the CHP head of being a “mouthpiece of forces that are enemies of Turkey.”
“You will take your place in the garbage of world history, in the garbage of the history of Turkey. You will go down as a political tool of forces that are enemies of Turkey, acting in cooperation with those forces,” Ünal said in a press conference in Ankara on Oct. 31.
Meanwhile, commenting on the Oct. 30 resignation of Ahmet Edip Uğur as mayor of the northwestern province of Balıkesir, in which Uğur said he and his family had been “threatened,” Kılıçdaroğlu said “harassing somebody’s family is the hallmark of being a fascist dictator.”
Uğur was the latest mayor to resign from an AKP municipality post, after the mayors of large cities including Istanbul, Ankara, Düzce and Niğde.
In response to Kılıçdaroğlu’s criticisms, Ünal said his words will “only serve the propaganda of [Fethullahist Terrorist Organization] FETÖ members around the world.”
Regarding Uğur’s complaint about being threatened, the AKP spokesperson claimed that “threats are out of the question.”
“There was never even impoliteness, let alone threats, by either our leader nor the deputy leaders who have managed the process,” he said.
“But if there was some indecent behavior against the honorable Edip Uğur by some presumptuous ones in Balıkesir then of course he has to seek his rights. If there is such a case, he should take the necessary legal paths,” he added.
Ünal also claimed that Erdoğan, as leader of the party, has the “democratic right “to instruct mayors to resign as a part of the internal party supervisory process.
“Our president and leader has used his right to call for resignations, which is his democratic right,” he said.