President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has praised an attack attempt against Good (İYİ) Party leader Meral Akşener, implying that more will follow.
Akşener on May 20 was forced to cut her visit to the İkizdere district of the Black Sea province of Rize, Erdoğan's hometown, short after a pro-government group launched a verbal attack on her.
Speaking to members of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) on May 26, Erdoğan called Akşener "Mrs. Bride," referring to the İYİ Party leader's remarks on his husband being from Rize.
"Mrs. Bride compared me to [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu and went to Rize afterwards. She was taught a very fine lesson," Erdoğan said, referring to Akşener's earlier remarks on Erdoğan and Netanyahu being the same.
"You should thank God that they taught you a lesson without going too far. As if İkizdere wasn't enough, you went to Çayeli. They did what they were supposed to do there as well," he said, adding that "more will follow."
"These are your better days," the president noted.
His remarks were met with shock on social media, with Twitter users slamming Erdoğan for apparently threatening the İYİ Party leader.
Akşener was meeting with shop owners in İkizdere to hear about their financial problems when a woman approached her and accused her of cooperating with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) through allying the party with the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP).
Shortly after, a pro-government group approached İYİ Party members around Akşener and started chanting slogans. A man was heard warning the İYİ Party group by saying, "Leave, something will happen here."
Shortly after Erdoğan's speech on May 26, Akşener responded to him from Twitter, reiterating her call to return to a parliamentary system.
İşte biz, tam olarak da bu nedenle,— Meral Akşener (@meral_aksener) May 26, 2021
İYİleştirilmiş ve Güçlendirilmiş Parlamenter Sistem diyoruz. https://t.co/j5eMzJx0kz
"We're calling for a return to an enhanced parliamentary system exactly for this reason," Akşener said.
CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu was another party leader to slam Erdoğan, saying that he speaks like pro-government trolls.
"He said, 'These are your better days' in a mafia-like way. We don't buy these. Bring the ballot boxes!" Kılıçdaroğlu said on Twitter, urging the government to hold early elections.
Erdoğan binlerce trolünden umudunu kaybetmiş olacak ki, kendi de trol gibi konuşmaya başlamış. Mafya ağzı ile “bunlar daha iyi günler” demiş. Geç bunları kardeşim geç. Er meydanına gel, milletten korkulmaz.— Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu (@kilicdarogluk) May 26, 2021
Sandığı getir sandığı!#HemenSeçim
During his speech to AKP members, Erdoğan ruled out early elections and said that they will be held in 2023 as scheduled.
"Don't waste your efforts. The elections will be held in June 2023," he said.
'CHP HQ occupied by rapists, robbers'
Erdoğan then went on to hurl accusations against the CHP, saying that the party's headquarters are occupied by "rapists, robbers and political wings of terrorist groups."
Claiming that a CHP member was handed a sentence over sexual abuse, Erdoğan noted that the main opposition party criticizes the government to "cover up the rape, sexual abuse and robbery cases within them."
"Mr. Kemal needs to listen to this carefully. The CHP headquarters are occupied by sexual abusers and those who protect them," Erdoğan said.
"The CHP headquarters are occupied by rapists, political wings of terrorist groups and their protectors," he added.