The leader of the opposition Democracy and Progress Party (DEVA), Ali Babacan, has said that 10 firefighting planes can be purchased for the price of just one presidential plane.
“They have started an argument on whether the country should receive foreign help or not. On one hand, the President calls other countries' leaders on the phone and asks for firefighting planes, whereas on the other hand, the propaganda tool who is affiliated to him blames our citizens who ask for foreign help of showing the state as 'powerless,'” Babacan said in a meeting with his party's provincial heads on Aug. 3
Babacan was referring to the response of Fahretin Altun, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's communications director, to a recent social media campaign launched by Turks requesting foreign assistance to combat the week-long wildfires.
Altun claimed that the campaign had the intention of showing the Turkish state as “powerless" and was orchestrated from a "single center overseas."
Babacan slammed Altun for targeting the social campaign, pointing out that he was again conducting propaganda.
The DEVA leader said that there are eight known planes in the inventory of the Presidency, whereas the country does not even have one firefighting plane.
“At least 10 firefighting planes can be bought with the price of the smallest plane in the Presidential fleet. And for the price of the wide-bodied aircraft, you can purchase at least 50 [firefighting planes]. Those running the state's crisis desk are the crisis itself,” Babacan said.
Erdoğan last week admitted that the country does not even have a single firefighting plane to fight the massive ongoing wildfires.
Turkish social media users have pointed out the absurdity of the situation, saying that Erdoğan is known to be famous for his love of lavish presidential facilities and fleet, but unable to allocate money for the country's firefighting efforts.
Erdoğan's complexes are also at the center of criticism, as they have been constructed with large budget and luxurious design.