Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Istanbul chair Canan Kaftancıoğlu apologized on April 20 for using an image of Syrian migrant baby Alan Kurdi for an awareness campaign about the $128 billion that went missing from the state funds under the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
Kaftancıoğlu shared the photo of Kurdi's body washed up on shore in western Turkey after he drowned during a trip across the Aegean to Europe with his family in 2015 in a series of tweets with the captions "Erdoğan is responsible" and "Where are the $128 billion?"
Other images Kaftancıoğlu shared showed AKP deputies in parliament, lines of cocaine in reference to an AKP staff member who got ousted for drug use, and a luxury car to symbolize the AKP's extravagant spending patterns.
The Istanbul chair apologized for sharing the image after backlash on social media, saying that she had aimed to make a point that tragic deaths like Alan Kurdi's wouldn't occur if the $128 billion missing from the Treasury been used effectively.
"I apologize for using the image of baby Aylan that still weighs heavy on our consciousness, that we can't forget," Kaftancıoğlu said.
128 Milyar Doların doğru kullanılması halinde bu ve benzeri manzaraların oluşmayacağına dikkat çekmeyi amaçlarken Aylan bebeğin hala vicdanlarımıza ağır gelen, unutamadığımız görüntüsünü paylaştığım için vatandaşlarımızdan özür dilerim https://t.co/YM4iBHZK19— Canan Kaftancıoğlu (@Canan_Kaftanci) April 20, 2021
Kaftancıoğlu's sharing of Alan Kurdi's photo prompted outrage among ranks of the AKP as an extension of their protest against the CHP's campaign about the missing state funds.
"Being human requires a bare minimum conscience. A person without a conscience has nothing to contribute to politics and society," Altun said. "What else could you expect from those who receive orders from the killers of Baby Alan?"
İnsan olmak asgari düzeyde bir vicdan gerektirir.— Fahrettin Altun (@fahrettinaltun) April 20, 2021
Vicdanı olmayanın siyasete ve topluma katacağı hiçbir şey yoktur.
Aylan bebeğin ve milyonlarca mazlumun aziz hatırasını inciten vicdansızlığı telin ediyoruz.
Aylan bebeğin katillerinden emir alanlardan başka ne beklenir ki?
Presidential spokesperson İbrahim Kalın said that "politics that use Baby Alan's death as a tool have nothing to contribute" to Turkey, and Justice Minister Abdülhamit Gül said that "Baby Alan's spirit will defeat this evil."