Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on June 17 deemed main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu “dictator” after not resigning from the party leadership following the election loss.
Speaking at the 30th General Assembly of Turkish Exporters Assembly and Champions of Export Award Ceremony in Istanbul, Erdoğan said “It was understood how those who promised democracy to the nation became dictators overnight when it came to (resigning from the party leadership),” without explicitly mentioning Kılıçdaroğlu’s name.
“What happened on the opposition front tells how our country was on the brink of a disaster. The fight of those who talk about reconciling the nation has not stopped since election night,” he noted.
Erdoğan also talked about the row between CHP Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu and Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu. “Turkey needs a new understanding of opposition, regardless of intra-party conflicts and throne fights between father and son,” the 69-year-old leader said.
Erdoğan once again claimed the opposition negotiated with “terrorists” prior to elections.
“Our nation does not want to see an opposition that cooperates with terrorist organizations for the sake of coming to power. Our children do not want to be exposed to an opposition discourse that constantly lies and disparages the country,” he added.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan beat Kılıçdaroğlu in the second round of the presidential elections on May 28 with 52.18 percent of the votes.
In the May 14 parliamentary elections, the CHP received 25.41 percent of the votes, falling short of expectations, ending up having 169 seats in the parliament out of 600 while leaving the majority to the ruling alliance.
After the losses, there has been a call for a change within the CHP, but Kılıçdaroğlu has yet shown no intention to resign.
After President Erdoğan’s election victory, İmamoğlu said that change is inevitable and they cannot expect different outcomes with the same methods.
İmamoğlu reportedly asked Kılıçdaroğlu to not run for the CHP leadership again to pave the way for radical change within the party.
The majority of the CHP’s Central Executive Board (MYK) members resigned after the election, with Kılıçdaroğlu appointing new names for the posts. However, the new names showed no sign of change, on the contrary increasing Kılıçdaroğlu’s power within the party. He also dismissed his all advisors.
Kılıçdaroğlu has been the leader of the CHP since 2010.