Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu on Feb. 14 addressed President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and said “the election will be held on time!”
“This country gave you 20 years. We saw a coup because of you. We were in need of five masks during the pandemic. Our forests burned, you couldn't find a plane. You crashed the economy. We were destroyed in the earthquake. You were always incompetent. We don't have one year, not even one day to give you. We can't take another incompetence. Don't be afraid of elections. Or fear, the election will be held on time” Kılıçdaroğlu said in a series of tweets on Feb. 14.
Ya da kork, seçim zamanında yapılacak!— Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu (@kilicdarogluk) February 14, 2023
Kılıçdaroğlu’s remarks came after the recent debate on the election date in the aftermath of two major earthquakes in Turkey's southeast region.
Parliamentary and general elections are normally scheduled to be held in June 2023, five years after the 2018 elections. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has expressed on many occasions that he will use his constitutional authority to call early elections for the date of May 14.
After the quakes, ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) heavyweight and former deputy prime minister Bülent Arınç on Feb. 13 called for the postponement of elections.
“Elections must be postponed immediately. It's not a choice, it's a necessity,” Arınç said in his statement.
Critics and opposition figures deemed such a move “unconstitutional” and a call for a “self-coup.”
Responding to the “unconstitutionality” criticisms, Arınç said “constitutions are not sacred texts.”
On top of this, President Erdoğan said on Feb. 14 that “Our goal is hopefully to rebuild and reconstruct (collapsed) houses within a year (in quake-hit provinces).
The opposition interpreted Erdoğan’s remarks as he wants to postpone the election for a year.
There is a growing criticism of the Turkish government for not preparing the country for earthquakes despite being in power for over 20 years.