Main opposition leader calls Erdoğan 'biggest supporter of foreign powers' amid row with envoys

Amid Erdoğan's accusations targeting philanthropist Osman Kavala, main opposition CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said that it was in fact the president who is the "biggest" supporter of U.S. financier George Soros. "Erdoğan is the biggest [George] Soros-ist. I wonder if any reporters asked Erdoğan why he sat at the same table with Soros or had pictures taken? Who knows what sort of deals they made," Kılıçdaroğlu said.

This collage photo shows main opposition chair Kılıçdaroğlu and Erdoğan.

Nergis Demirkaya / DUVAR

Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu called President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan the biggest supporter of U.S. financier George Soros, in response to Erdoğan's accusations targeting philanthropist Osman Kavala. 

"Erdoğan is the biggest [George] Soros-ist," Kılıçdaroğlu told reporters in the eastern province of Kars, where he met with the representatives of the Agricultural Development Cooperative, local opinion leaders and civil society leaders. 

"I wonder if any reporters asked Erdoğan why he sat at the same table with Soros or had pictures taken? Who knows what sort of deals they made. Erdoğan needs to tell the public why he sat down at the table with Soros. According to me, Erdoğan is the Soro-ist. I do not find any intervention to Turkey from abroad right. We would solve our problems on our own," Kılıçdaroğlu said. 

Kılıçdaroğlu's comments came after Erdoğan took a swipe at 10 ambassadors in Turkey who called for the release of Kavala, who's been in prison for more than three years without a conviction. 

Kavala's case has drawn condemnation from around the world, with several rights groups calling for his immediate release, but the president has continued to target Kavala, referring to him as the "Turkish leg'' of U.S. billionaire George Soros.  

Erdoğan said that the ambassadors' demands were "irresponsible" and threatened to expel them from Turkey. 

The main opposition leader slammed the president over his comments and said that his party would bring democracy back to the country during the upcoming elections. 

Responding to the president's diss against his concerns over political assassinations, the main opposition leader noted that the president did in fact make provocative comments following an attack on Good (İYİ) Party leader Meral Akşener.

"On what grounds did he threaten me and Meral Akşener? He told us, 'Stop demanding to come to the power.' The prosecutors first need to get an answer for this. Once we get its answer, we will give the necessary response. Because I am not the one who is making threats," Kılıçdaroğlu said. 

The main opposition leader stood behind his concerns over political assassinations by noting that an attack he endured in Ankara's Çubuk district was not properly investigated by the judiciary. 

Kılıçdaroğlu also slammed the president's comments that the 2023 elections would not be held early, a common expectation among political analysts as the opposition continues to push for it. 

"We're demanding early elections not so that Erdoğan leaves. We're doing it so that the public doesn't have to bear even bigger burdens in the future, to save Erdoğan."

Noting the Turkish Lira's continued decline in recent months, the main opposition leader said Erdoğan's "palace" robbed all lower classes in the country via corrupt conduct of public funds. 

The CHP has been speaking with representatives from Good Party, Felicity Party, Democrat Party (DP), former prime minister Ahmet Davutoğlu's Future Party and former deputy prime minister Ali Babacan's Democracy and Progress Party (DEVA). 

"Every day that passes works in our favor," the main opposition chair said, as his party is expected to spearhead coalition efforts in the opposition. 

The CHP is looking to work with other opposition parties going into the presidential elections in 2023, Kılıçdaroğlu said, adding that they will come out with solid suggestions on the system of government.