Erdoğan targets Kılıçdaroğlu over İnce’s withdrawal from presidential candidacy
President Erdoğan has used Muharrem İnce’s withdrawal from the presidential race as an opportunity to target Kılıçdaroğlu once again, saying that the CHP leader was behind the sex tape scandal. "It seems that FETÖ methods are again in force. I don’t like the fact that the level of politics has gone to such a low level in our country," Erdoğan said, in reference to the Gülen network.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has targeted main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu once again, this time over the withdrawal of Muharrem İnce from the presidential race.
Erdoğan argued that Kılıçdaroğlu played a role in İnce’s decision and once again utilized terrorism rhetoric to tarnish the opposition’s image.
"One of the candidates withdrew from the candidacy. Of course, it is impossible to understand why. Honestly, I am sad. I wish this race had continued like this until the end. I wonder what happened and he withdrew, I don't know," Erdoğan said during a rally on May 11 in the capital Ankara.
“What did Mr. Bye Bye Kemal (Kılıçdaroğlu) come up with? A tape. And now he has taken down one of the presidential candidates. How did he do that? And that will probably come out tomorrow or Saturday. Because all they know is tricks,” he added.
“Those who previously assumed leadership with a tape, they are again trying to be appointed to the presidency with the same methods. And as you see, whatever they did, they have forced someone to withdraw (from the presidential race). It seems that (Fethullahist Terrorist Organization) FETÖ methods are again in force. I don’t like the fact that the level of politics has gone to such a low level in our country. Mr. Bye Bye Kemal, you have come with a tape; we know this,” he further said.
İnce's withdrawal on May 12 came following allegations that a sex tape leaked on the internet belonged to him.
Kılıçdaroğlu became the CHP chairman after former party leader Deniz Baykal resigned from the post in May 2010, similarly due to an alleged sex tape.