A group of people on Aug. 10 verbally attacked opposition İYİ (Good) Party leader Meral Akşener as she was visiting the Central Anatolian province of Sivas' Zara district.
A man shouted at Akşener as a Gülenist, while a woman said the opposition leader “cannot come here [to Sivas].”
As Akşener was addressing locals at the district square, a man named Mustafa Etiş shouted at Akşener to “resign.” In response, Akşener smiled and said: “If you want, I will resign.”
At this point, tension arose between İYİ Party members and Etiş, resulting in the intervention of the police.
As police officers moved Etiş and his family away from the scene, Etiş shouted at Akşener as “member of FETÖ,” an acronym used by the government for the Gülen network. The man further claimed that there is no poverty in Turkey.
“They are saying people are hungry. Who is having financial difficulties? Let that woman come and I will give money and charity to her. She keeps saying that people are hungry. There is no such thing. The nation could not get rid of these people. She is a FETÖ member,” Etiş shouted as he was led away by police.
At this point, some of the shopkeepers were seen applauding Etiş for his comments, and one man even said, 'The nation could not get rid of these people,' repeating Etiş' remarks.
Another woman also verbally targeted Akşener by saying she “cannot come here [to Sivas].”
Akşener's adviser Murat İde told Halk TV that the opposition leader will file a criminal complaint against Etiş over his “FETÖ” remarks. “He called the party leader a 'FETÖ member.' She will file a criminal complaint about this...What I am worried about is that such things lead to bigger things in the future,” İde said.
Akşener was also verbally attacked by a pro-government group in the Black Sea province of Rize's İkizdere in May, which caused the opposition leader to cut her visit short.
Afterwards, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan praised the attack against Akşener, saying that she was taught a “lesson” and more will follow. "These are your better days," Erdoğan had said on May 26.