Right-wing opposition Good (İYİ) Party deputy leader Koray Aydın has said on Oct. 10 that they had received reports of political assassination schemes following the attack on their leader Meral Akşener in May, which had prompted the main opposition's concerns over a looming increase in political assassinations.
Akşener on May 20 was forced to cut her visit short to the İkizdere district of the Black Sea province of Rize, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's hometown, after a pro-government group launched a verbal attack on her.
The president had followed up on the attack by saying that Akşener should be grateful that she hadn't been targeted by an even graver attack.
"They did what they were supposed to do," he said, adding that more would follow. "These are your better days," the president said on May 26.
Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu had deemed the president's words "very dangerous" and noted that the government would try to mount tensions in the political landscape ahead of the upcoming elections in 2023.
"I'm sure that tension can be avoided if [the government] doesn't arm people to assassinate certain individuals. Political assassinations... I'm worried about these," Kılıçdaroğlu said in response to the president on Oct. 8, adding that the president would "try anything" to stay in power.
"We have also received reports of political assassinations," Aydın said on Oct. 10, sharing Kılıçdaroğlu's concerns. "The government will have to pay a heavy price if there's such a scheme."
Aydın said that the president should refrain from running in the presidential elections in 2023 as he is "going to experience the fiasco of a lifetime" and his 19 years in office will end on a "bitter note."
"The results are obvious, a fiasco awaits him and there's no way out," Aydın said.
'The president is abandoned'
Aydın also responded to the president's comments that Akşener's desire to run for prime minister instead of president was delusional as he foresaw the country remaining in the presidential system of government for the near future.
Akşener's statement was in fact an expression of the opposition's unanimous desire to switch back to a parliamentary system of government following the 2023 elections.
"Mister president is abandoned, he's not entirely aware of what he's saying. He was met with something very unexpected, a party that's aiming to take power from him," Aydın said.
Aydın noted that the president has given increased attention to the İYİ Party in his rhetoric in recent months and that polls show the opposition's vote share growing against a shrinking AKP base.
The AKP's insistence that the opposition reveal their presidential candidates is a tactic aimed at polarizing internal opposition dynamics ahead of the election, Aydın said, adding that he believes not releasing a name is the better move.
"Alliances may be forming but the Nation Alliance's two large actors are the CHP and İYİ Party, and their attitude and policies will take precedence," Aydın noted.
The deputy chair also noted that the country's economy is increasingly deteriorating, which could prompt early elections, explaining the government's pressure on the opposition to come out with candidate names.