Turkish FM argues opposition leaders victimizing gov’t, using ‘insulting’ remarks in rallies

Despite the discriminatory and polarizing rhetoric of the ruling AKP executives, Turkish Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu has accused the opposition leaders of using “insulting” remarks during their rallies.

Duvar English

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has accused the opposition leaders of adopting a “harsh tone” and using “insulting” remarks in their rallies.

“We talk to the opposition voters as well. We are going to elections, we are not enemies. Our dialogue with all segments of society is very good. We always love and respect each other. I think the opposition's tone is too harsh. They use insulting remarks in their rallies,” Çavuşoğlu told broadcaster Habertürk on May 7.

Çavuşoğlu’s remarks came despite the discriminatory and polarizing rhetoric of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) executives in their everyday language, including President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his allies. 

On May 6, for example, Erdoğan's ally and far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli has threatened the main opposition bloc Nation Alliance figures with death and said they will either receive “aggravated life sentences” after the May 14 elections or “bullets in their bodies.”

Çavuşoğlu also said in the broadcast that “Hopefully (the presidential election) will be over in the first round. The votes of both our President (Erdoğan) and the AKP are increasing. This election is a matter of survival (for Turkey). (Kemal) Kılıçdaroğlu says, ‘We will release Selahattin Demirtaş, we will reinstate those who are affiliated with the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) and the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK)’.”

"The world is going through a difficult period. The importance of a strong and stable leader in the world has been understood," he added.

Çavuşoğlu said the United States asked Turkey to send the S-400s to Ukraine, but they refused the request. “They made proposals that directly concern our sovereignty, such as ‘give us control of this, give it elsewhere.’ Where is our independence, our sovereignty?”