Turkey’s main opposition leader warns against provocations ahead of June vote

Turkey’s main opposition leader warns against provocations ahead of June vote

Okan Konuralp - ANKARA / ARDAHAN
Turkey’s main opposition leader warns against provocations ahead of June vote

AA Photo

Turkey’s main opposition party leader has warned citizens against provocations in the run-up to the June 7 parliamentary election, as he indicated he had been informed of the probability of such provocations.

“The [ruling Justice and Development Party] AKP has become more aware that it is losing blood every day. It will resort to all kinds of ways to stay in power, including provocations” said Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the leader of the main opposition, social democratic Republican People’s Party (CHP). 

“For this reason, I want all of my citizens to be very careful. They should not be used as instrument for provocations,” Kılıçdaroğlu said on May 4, on his way to an election rally in the northeastern Anatolian province of Ardahan.

“They are asking for the whereabouts of the sources,” the CHP leader said, referring to the fact that the ruling AKP government has been questioning the feasibility of his party’s election campaign promises on the economy, calling them nothing but “empty promises.”

“Actually, they did their calculations; they very well know the cost of losing power. For 13 years, they have all become richer as they considered ill-gotten gains as halal [permissible]. That’s why the bill of leaving power would be weighty for them and they know it. They will see that they will no longer be able to siphon. They can run the risk of provocation, violence and intemperance; they can run the risk of everything. We have heard such hearsay,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.

This is not the first time the CHP leader has voiced concerns over election security. Previously, referring to a deadly and controversial clash between security forces and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) which took place in April in the eastern Anatolian province of Ağrı, he expressed his sincere wish for there to be no security problems throughout the course of the elections.

A delegation from the CHP went to Ağrı to investigate the clash and found that an “information flaw and an intelligence failure” were the main factors that led to the clash.

The April 11 clash in Ağrı was followed by an April 18 armed attack on the Ankara headquarters of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP). 

The attack on the HDP headquarters in Ankara added insult to injury, further straining ties between the ruling AKP government and opposition parties, particularly the HDP, which focuses on the Kurdish issue and has been among the elements conducting a peace process with the government. Both the HDP and the AKP have described the acts as “provocations” ahead of the June 7 election. 

Although they echoed each other’s view, the AKP and the HDP have mutually blamed each other for purposefully increasing the tension between the two parties.