Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu's call on First Lady Emine Erdoğan to burn her Hermes handbag following the president's call to boycott French goods prompted a harsh response from the government.
"A politician should address a politician. Kılıçdaroğlu's remarks on the First Lady are utterly inappropriate. We strongly condemn it. Verbal violence is a significant part of violence against women," ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) spokesperson Ömer Çelik said on Oct. 27.
"The style of making politics over families and women is outright violence, disrespectful and needs to be condemned," Çelik added.
Siyasi mücadeleyi, siyasi polemikleri aileye taşımak, Hanımefendiye taşımak son derece yakışıksız bir durumdur ve bunu şiddetle kınıyoruz. pic.twitter.com/jg2JjPJix0— Ömer Çelik (@omerrcelik) October 27, 2020
Earlier on Oct. 27, Kılıçdaroğlu called on the First Lady to burn her Hermes handbag in the garden of the presidential palace if the government is so sincere on President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's call to boycott French goods.
Kılıçdaroğlu said that the people already can't purchase French goods due to the economic downfall of the country.
"Can the citizens buy French goods? The presidential palace socialite can implement the boycott. They have French-made planes, sell them immediately," Kılıçdaroğlu told members of his party at a parliamentary group meeting.
"Mrs. Emine has a [Hermes] bag. She should burn it in the garden of the presidential palace and say, 'I protest [France],'" he added.
Vatandaşta Fransız mallarını alacak hal mi kaldı? pic.twitter.com/k6l2QAeikG— Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu (@kilicdarogluk) October 28, 2020
Emine Erdoğan's Hermes handbag has created controversy in the country due its cost being $50,000 when she was using it in 2019.
Erdoğan was criticized due to using the bag in the country that people are suffering from increased unemployment and poverty. The price of the bag corresponded to 144 minimum wages at the time.
Following President Erdoğan's call to boycott French goods, the bag became a trending topic on Twitter on Oct. 26.
A day later, Erdoğan responded to Kılıçdaroğlu's call on her wife, asking, "What kind of politician are you?"
"Mr. Kemal said some words about my wife yesterday. If you have the guts, talk about me. If you're a politician, talk about me," Erdoğan told AKP members in parliament on Oct. 28.
"If you're looking for bags to burn, you and your friends have a lot of them," he added.
He also responded to Kılıçdaroğlu's call to French-made planes, asking, "What does it have to do with anything?"
"The Airbus is a strategic product. They are not only made by the French, you are pathetic," Erdoğan said.CHP leader urges First Lady to burn her Hermes bag following Erdoğan's call to boycott French goods