Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has claimed that the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) failed to gather its supporters at a rally in the southern province of Mersin despite drone footage that shows thousands have attended.
CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu addressed the party's supporters in a giant rally on Dec. 4 and the footage of the crowds were shared by Abdullah Özyiğit, the CHP's Yenişehir district mayor.
Erdoğan, however, downplayed the rally and said that he has the official attendance figures. He also compared his own rally in the southeastern province of Siirt with the CHP's in Mersin, although attendance at the president's rally was significantly lower.
"They couldn't gather such a crowd in Mersin," Erdoğan told his supporters in Siirt.
Another attempt to downplay the rally was made by the Mersin Governor's Office, which said that 21,500 people attended.
Kılıçdaroğlu ridiculed the official figures and Erdoğan's remarks, asking the president whether he has received the numbers from the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK).
“Mersin mitinginden elimde rakamlar var” demişsin Erdoğan. Allah’ını seversen doğru söyle, TÜİK’ten mi aldın? 😂— Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu (@kilicdarogluk) December 4, 2021
"Erdoğan, you said that you have official figures. Please tell the truth, did you get them from TÜİK?" Kılıçdaroğlu asked.
The main opposition leader was referring to the controversial economic data released by the institute. He on Dec. 3 wanted to meet with TÜİK officials on the issue, but was denied entry to the premises.