Kılıçdaroğlu deems media’s criticism of him ‘a massacre against CHP’

Main opposition CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has deemed the media’s criticism of his party “a massacre towards the CHP” and said that criticism needs to “be done at a reasonable level and with respect.” He also once again signalled that he does not intend to leave the party leadership to Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu as he said that he wants the latter to continue his duty.    

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Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu touched upon the criticism directed against him and argued that the media is undertaking “a massacre towards the CHP.”

“We are of course taking into account all the criticism. The criticisms that are guiding are most welcome however the criticisms need to be done at a reasonable level and with respect. Some are insulting under the pretext of making criticism. This is not acceptable. And I would like to tell you that there is a massacre towards the CHP at the media,” Kılıçdaroğlu told journalist Fikret Bila from Halk TV on July 8. 

He said that he will pave the way for renewal within the CHP and the party will become stronger during this process. “I said that I would take my party to a safe harbor. And I will do this and will leave no obstacle for renovation."

Kılıçdaroğlu also touched upon the 2024 municipal elections, saying that he wants Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu to put his candidacy for the mayorship once again. These comments came as there is a strong public demand for Kılıçdaroğlu to leave the CHP leadership to İmamoğlu instead.

“All of our (CHP) mayors did their duties very well, are doing it. They are very successful. This is why I would want them to be (mayoral) candidates once again. This is their most natural right. They need to continue their successful services,” he said.

Kılıçdaroğlu also touched upon the government’s recent hikes of taxes, deeming them “economic massacre.” “Why is the government taking these decisions? Why is it implementing this policy? Because they haven’t left any money in the Treasury. They have granted dollar-guaranteed tenders to the gang of five and now they need additional funds to keep these promises,” he said, referring to the five construction companies with close ties to the government.

The series of taxes came after the government budget recorded a deficit of 263.6 billion liras ($10.21 billion) in the first five months of this year, compared to 124.6 billion liras a year ago due to increased spending ahead of May elections and the impact of February's devastating earthquakes in southern Turkey.