Opposition urges Erdoğan to mend Turkey's economy instead of targeting envoys

Turkish opposition parties have urged President Erdoğan to tackle Turkey's "real problems" instead of creating "artificial" ones. "We have seen this before. Deal with the economic crisis and our actual agenda," İYİ Party deputy chair Yavuz Ağıralioğlu said.

Duvar English 

Turkish opposition parties on Oct. 23 called on President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to deal with Turkey's actual problems, mainly the economic crisis and plummeting lira, instead of targeting ambassadors. 

"This person who is driving Turkey towards a cliff has ordered 10 ambassadors to be declared 'persona non grata.' I'm saying this openly; His aim is not to protect national interests, but to create artificial justifications for ruining the economy," main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said in a tweet. 

"Look at people's meals!" he said, referring to the poverty in the country. 

Erdoğan said on Oct. 23 that he had told his foreign ministry to expel the ambassadors of the United States and nine other Western countries for demanding the release of philanthropist Osman Kavala.

Seven of the ambassadors represent Turkey's NATO allies and the expulsions, if carried out, would open the deepest rift with the West in Erdoğan's 19 years in power.

Right-wing opposition Good (İYİ) Party deputy chair Yavuz Ağıralioğlu slammed Erdoğan's remarks, urging the president to deal with Turkey's economic problems. 

"We have seen this before. Deal with the economic crisis and our actual agenda. Urgently!" Ağıralioğlu said in a series of tweets. 

He also criticized Erdoğan for not showing the "national and honorable stance" previously in matters concerning Turkey, including when 33 soldiers were killed in Syria by Russia, as well as when former U.S. President Donald Trump penned a bizarre letter to the Turkish President. 

According to Ağıralioğlu, Erdoğan is trying to use foreign policy matters as tools in domestic politics in order to divert attention from the economic crisis he created and the high cost of living. 

Another opposition politician to slam Erdoğan's move was Ahmet Davutoğlu, the leader of the Future Party and former prime minister, who said that declaring 10 ambassadors "persona non grata" has nothing to do with Kavala or judicial independence. 

"Otherwise, Pastor Branson wouldn't have been released upon a call from Trump," Davutoğlu said, referring to the release of Pastor Andrew Brunson, who was accused of having links to the movement of U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen.

Another example he gave was the release of journalist Deniz Yücel from prison upon German Chancellor Angela Merkel's wishes. 

"You'll be silencing other countries when you grant the right to a fair and impartial trial to Kavala," he said.

"What's the rush in creating the biggest diplomatic crisis in our history with the countries that we've been exporting the most?" Davutoğlu asked.