Turkish President Recep Tayyip Edoğan has dragged a 10-year-old child into politics as he gave a microphone to him during a rally in the Black Sea province of Trabzon on Jan. 30.
In his speech, the child, who was gifted various toys, referred to main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu as “Mr. Kemal,” a form of address used by Erdoğan himself.
The child also called Kılıçdaroğlu a “traitor” and Erdoğan the “best man” and asked that citizens give votes to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). Erdoğan and the accompanying delegation looked on smiling as the child went on with his remarks.
The CHP slammed the use of a child in politics, with CHP MP Ali Mahir Başarır saying that the move was a sign of “weakness” on the part of the AKP.
“This is not politics! The politics had never been at such a low point! Erdoğan has also accomplished this,” Başarır said.
Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu, from the CHP, said this is a proof that “ethics and morality have been unfortunately fully abandoned in politics.” “Those who are running the state are smiling at the remark of 'traitor' which an innocent child was made to say,” İmamoğlu tweeted.
Siyasette etik ve ahlak ne yazık ki iyice terk edildi. Devleti yönetenler, masum bir çocuğa söyletilmiş “hain” ifadesine gülüyor. Trabzon’un iyi kalpli tüm insanları bu kötü duygulardan uzak duracaktır. Bir Trabzonlu olarak memleketimde bu şovun yapılmasını kınıyorum.— Ekrem İmamoğlu (@ekrem_imamoglu) January 30, 2022
Kılıçdaroğlu also commented on the incident, urging citizens not to say anything bad about the child or share any news about him. “He is very little. Also, it is my request from all of our organizations that you abide by what child pedagogy says, without being overwhelmed by your feelings,” he tweeted.
Lütfen küçük çocuğumuzla ilgili haberi paylaşmayın, kötü söz söylemeyin. O daha çok küçük. Ayrıca tüm örgütlerimizden istirhamımdır, duygularımıza yenilmeden, çocuk pedagojisi ne diyorsa ona uyun!— Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu (@kilicdarogluk) January 30, 2022