Former CHP leader Kılıçdaroğlu says he’s not quit politics

Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, former Turkish main opposition CHP leader, has said that he has not quitted politics and that continues meeting with citizens and academics. After the presidential election defeat in May, he lost the CHP party congress in November against “revisionist” candidate Özgür Özel.

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Turkish main opposition Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) former leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has said that he has not quitted active politics.

In an interview with online news outlet Serbestiyet, 75-year-old Kılıçdaroğlu on Feb. 6 said “I meet with citizens and visitors every day. I have time to think more deeply on certain issues. Every 15-20 days I meet with a group of academics, including philosophers and sociologists, to discuss and evaluate the problems of Turkey and the world. I write articles for newspapers,” saying that he has not retired yet.

“We are always together with the children and grandchildren. Selvi (his wife) and I went to the theater once or twice,” he added.

Kılıçdaroğlu also criticized President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for threatening citizens in quake-hit provinces.. 

“He is sending a message to the people: ‘as long as you don't vote for me, I will watch you die in front of my eyes.’ There is no responsible government in the country. Erdoğan does not care about the lives of citizens. Erdoğan does not surprise. This is how much he does not love his citizens and his country,” Kılıçdaroğlu said. 

Erdoğan on Feb. 3 urged the residents of quake-torn southeastern Hatay province to vote for the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) mayoral candidate if they wished to receive services. “If central and local governments do not cooperate, nothing will arrive in that province. Did Hatay receive anything? Now Hatay is miserable,” Erdoğan said, drawing huge criticism.

In May, Kılıçdaroğlu lost against Erdoğan in the second round of the presidential election, while his CHP failed to meet expectations of near 30 percent vote share in the general elections as it remained at 25.35%.

After his defeat, some CHP seniors have demanded a radical change in party leadership and management, including Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu.

In the party congress held in November, “revisionist” candidate 49-year-old Özgür Özel, who was also CHP parliamentary group chair, put an end to Kılıçdaroğlu's 13-year long CHP leadership.

After this defeat, he rented a office in the capital Ankara.