Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on May 4 held a rally as part of his election campaign in the northern Giresun province.
Addressing his supporters, Erdoğan said that “I know that you wouldn't sacrifice your leader for onion or potato,” referring to the rising cost of living.
Although the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK) announced an annual inflation rate of 43.68% in April, ENAG Inflation Research Group, an independent institution set up in 2020 to track the country’s inflation, reported the inflation rate as 105.19%.
Some polls suggest that Erdoğan might lose office against his rival Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu in the May 14 election while citizens have been struggling to make ends meet due to non-stoppable inflation and deteriorating economic crisis.
In the rally, Erdoğan added that “Inflation is decreasing every month. It's down to 43 percent. It will continue to decrease each month.”
Erdoğan also criticized Kılıçdaroğlu’s promise for hazelnut producers to increase hazelnut price and said “Where have you been until now?,” despite the former ruling the country for 20 years.
“On May 14, it is not enough for you to vote, you have to get at least one of your friends or neighbors to vote (for us). Otherwise, (the opposition) will close the gas valve we found in the Black Sea and pour concrete into the oil field (we found) in Gabar (Mountain). They promised to release Selahattin (Demirtaş) from prison,” the 69-year-old leader said.
Erdoğan also addressed Kılıçdaroğlu’s allies nationalist Good (İYİ) Party and islamist Felicity Party voters and said “How long will you be patient for Bye Bye Kemal's reckless suppression of all the values you believe in?”
In an attempt to fuel identity politics once again, Erdoğan accused opposition parties of being pro-LGBTI+. “We are not pro-LGBT, we are against LGBT. The Republican People’s Party (CHP) is pro-LGBT, the Good Party is LGBT, and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) is pro-LGBT. Family is sacred to us.”
Turkey will held parliamentary and presidential elections on May 14 on the centennial of the foundation of the republic.