The governor's office of the southern province of Mersin has refused the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP)'s demand to hold a rally at the famous Cumhuriyet Square.
CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu earlier this week announced that he would hold rallies across Turkey to protest the government's failing economic policies and to force President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to declare early elections.
The party was planning to hold the first rally at Mersin's Cumhuriyet Square on Dec. 4.
CHP Mersin provincial head Ali Aktay held a press meeting on Nov. 26, saying that the governor's refusal of the rally showed that the government is scared of the opposition. He said that the rally will be instead held in an area next to the former Tevfik Sırrı Gür Stadium.
Aktay said that the demand for the rally was made in line with the procedures, but the governor's office preferred to turn a blind eye to it, as if it had never been made. He said that when they applied for a second time for the rally, they found out their demand was turned down.
Aktay said that the Square, where President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan previously held rallies, should be open for all politicians, especially Kılıçdaroğlu.
On Nov. 24, Kılıçdaroğlu held a press meeting during which he slammed Erdoğan's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) amid the recent crash of the lira. Emphasizing that the AKP can no longer run the country,
Once again calling on Erdoğan to declare early elections, Kılıçdaroğlu said: “How do we get out of here [economic crisis]? Why are you scared of the nation, why are you scared of the ballot box? You can't run the country; you have lost the power to govern it. Bring the ballot box. I will do everything in my power to force you and your associates into the elections.”