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Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu criticized President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for the number of aircrafts at the president’s disposal, as well as for his meek response to the infamous letter he received from U.S. President Donald Trump, while speaking at a parliamentary group meeting earlier this week. 

“You can’t govern the country without getting into debt. Yet you have 13 planes. What state leader has 13 planes? The hunger threshold [in Turkey] is 2,058 TL while the minimum wage is 2,020 TL. According to a report published by [the labor union] Türk-İş, the drop in inflation has nothing to do with interest rates. When purchasing power declines interest rates fall as well. Unemployment rates have exceeded 8 million,” Kılıçdaroğlu said. 

Seven unanswered questions regarding Trump’s letter

In his remarks, Kılıçdaroğlu also brought up the recent letter from U.S. President Trump, which was controversial for its near-complete lack of diplomatic language and brash, rude content, sent immediately before Turkey launched its Operation Peace Spring, and threatening to destroy the Turkish economy if Ankara attacked the Syrian Kurdish militant People’s Protection Units (YPG). Trump concluded the letter by saying “Don’t be a tough guy. Don’t be a fool.”

“I asked Erdoğan seven questions. In Turkey’s history there has never been such a letter that is this insulting to the Turkish republic. There hasn’t been one in the history of any country. If you can’t respond like a man to the person that wrote that letter, in the name of 82 million people, you can’t sit at this chair,” Kılıçdaroğlu said. 

“Why did you not respond by saying ‘this tone is unacceptable’ to the letter, which does not adhere to diplomatic precedents and which is full of insults?” 

“Whilst reading it, how could you tolerate these expressions? Why and with what fear, worry and state of mind did you did you accept this letter? How did you not immediately respond to this insult-ridden letter and why did you hide it from the public? Had the letter not reached the American public, you have covered it up and remained silent,” Kılıçdaroğlu maintained.

Trump’s letter made international news due to its unorthodox and rude language, and Erdoğan reportedly tossed it into a trash bin after reading it, opting to move forward with the Operation Peace Spring shortly thereafter.