Turkish opposition Democrat Party (DP) leader Gültekin Uysal on Jan. 31 insulted far-right Victory Party leader Ümit Özdağ in a tweet by saying “you are slandering me and my party with the psychology of a child who was raped.”
Uysal's remark came after Özdağ accused the former of being a supporter of religious cults.
“I ask the Table of Six. What is keeping you from saying (in your manifesto), 'We will expel the religious cults from the state?' Is it your partner Democrat Party leader who is a disciple of the man called Said Nursi?” Özdağ said on Jan. 31 during his visit to the western Balıkesir province.
Uysal’s DP is one of the parties in the Table of Six, the main opposition bloc that are united to change the country’s regime back to parliamentary system should they assume power in the upcoming election.
Uysal’s tweet with reference to sexually abused children stirred a huge reaction on social media, as thousands of users criticized his “ugly use of wording.”
Uysal deleted the tweet on the same night, while Özdağ shared a screenshot of it and said “The tweet written and deleted by the Democrat Party chair Gültekin Uysal. Either you won't write it or you won't delete it.”
Demokrat Parti Genel Başkanı Gültekin Uysal’ın yazıp sildiği twit. Seviye tespiti açısından burada kalsın: ya yazmayacaksın ya silmeyeceksin: pic.twitter.com/Idjc8W9bhx— Ümit Özdağ (@umitozdag) January 31, 2023
Uysal later apologized for his remarks on Feb. 1.
“I express my regret and apology to the public that I have responded to the deliberate attacks of Ümit Özdağ against me and my party, through a very wrong example that goes beyond my intent,” Uysal said in his apology.
Hakaret, tahrik ve iftirayı meslek edinmiş, neye ve kime hizmet ettiği malum @umitozdag tarafından zaman zaman Demokrat Parti ve şahsıma kasıtlı saldırılarına karşı kastımı aşan çok yanlış bir örnek üzerinden cevap verdiğimden kamuoyuna üzgün olduğumu ve özrümü beyan ediyorum.— Gültekin Uysal (@DpGultekinUysal) February 1, 2023