Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy chair in charge of legal and election affairs Muharrem Erkek on May 23 announced that they filed a criminal complaint against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan over his remarks of the montage video linking CHP and the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), and against those who created and spread the video.
The video in question depicts as if executives of the PKK were singing the main opposition Nation Alliance's presidential candidate and CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu’s campaign song.
Speaking during a live broadcast on state-run TRT, Erdoğan on May 22 said “The CHP leader relied on the PKK terrorist organization. Kılıçdaroğlu has video shoots with those in Kandil. (PKK executives sang Kılıçdaroğlu's song). Doesn't matter if it's a montage or not. PKK members supported (the opposition) with videos.”
Erdoğan on May 7 displayed the same video during a rally held in Istanbul.
Erkek on May 23 said they filed a criminal complaint against Erdoğan over his remarks and against who created and spread the video in question on charges of “deceiving the people, deliberately spreading misleading information, lies and forgery, slander, and inciting the people to hatred and enmity.”
“Would a president spread a video of his opponent that is known to be a montage? Would a president slander? Would a president benefit from fraud? Would a president incite the people to hatred and enmity? Unfortunately, he does it all for the sake of maintaining his power,” Erkek said in a video message, ANKA News Agency reported.
“(Erdoğan) also advertises terrorist organizations, making propaganda for them, consciously or unconsciously. Our president is sharing and spreading the video of our presidential candidate Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, knowing that it is a montage. He confesses ‘doesn’t matter if it’s a montage or not.’ So he knew it was fabricated,” Erkek said.
Erkek called on “brave” prosecutors to investigate the incident.
“The PKK terrorist organization attempted to assassinate only one leader, that is Mr. Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu. You insult the nation (with the montage video). You are trying to deceive them. There are problems with the economy, education, justice, and refugees. You are aggravating all the basic problems of Turkey. Because you can't even fight bravely and you can't rule Turkey, but we will fix them all,” Erkek lastly added.
After Erdoğan’s remarks on May 22, Kılıçdaroğlu called him “fraudulent video fabricator,” and added “I am tired of being slandered, this (Erdoğan) is not tired of slandering me. Show everyone who is clean and who is dirty my God. Amen!”
Ben iftiraya uğramaktan yoruldum, bu bana iftira atmaktan yorulmadı. Sen kimin temiz olduğunu, kimin kirli olduğunu herkese göster ya Rabbi. Amin!— Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu (@kilicdarogluk) May 22, 2023
During the election campaign the ruling People’s Alliance executives and Erdoğan have accused the opposition of “collaborating with the terrorist organizations and their political affiliations” in order to gain more votes in the elections. Kılıçdaroğlu and CHP figures have denied such claims on several occasions.
Erdoğan officially received 49.52% of the votes, whereas Kılıçdaroğlu received 44.88%, Sinan Oğan received 5.17%, and Muharrem İnce (withdrawn before the election) received 0.43% in the first round of presidential elections on May 14. Turkey will held a run-off election on May 28.