Turkey’s President and Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Feb. 7 deemed the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) the “protector of terrorists” following a gun attack in front of Istanbul's Çağlayan Courthouse, according to reporting from state-run Anadolu.
Speaking in a ceremony in the southeastern Şanlıurfa province, Erdoğan said “We saw it once again with yesterday's attack. The biggest protectors of the terrorists who carried out this attack are the CHP leaders.”
Five people including three police officers were wounded and one died in a gun attack in front of Istanbul's Çağlayan Courthouse on Feb. 6 that left the two shooters killed in a gun battle. The shooters, a woman and a man, were believed to be from the leftist DHKP-C militant group.
“(CHP leader) Mr. Özgür (Özel) personally sent greetings to the imprisoned ringleader of this (terrorist) organization from the rostrum of the congress where he was elected as the general chair,” Erdoğan noted, referring to Özgür Özel saying “greetings to Selahattin Demirtaş” after winning the party congress in November.
Erdoğan argued the “terrorist organizations” were using the CHP to achieve their goals.
“The CHP does not hesitate to support the enemies of the country and the nation. This party supported the Gezi protests, a chaos operation against our country. It became a partner in the (failed) coup by bringing FETÖ's montage tapes to the parliamentary agenda. It embraced members of the PKK terrorist organization as patriots. On July 15th (failed coup attempt), it applauded the tanks,” Erdoğan said, once again associating the main opposition party with different “terrorist” organizations in the eyes of citizens.
"I am not even mentioning the deplorable situation of CHP-controlled media organizations, which have turned into bulletins of terrorist organizations. As you know, this party has been in friendship with the political extensions of the PKK for a long time," Erdoğan argued, referring to the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Equality and Democracy (DEM) Party.
Erdoğan then announced his party’s mayoral candidates in Şanlıurfa districts for the local elections to be held on March 31.
The Turkish government and its allies have been building a discourse alienating opposition parties by accusing them of “aligning with terrorist organizations,” which heightened especially during the 2023 elections.
During the presidential race, Erdoğan accused his rival Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu of being supported by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). He even displayed a montage video during a rally, depicting as if PKK executives were singing Kılıçdaroğlu’s election song.