Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu responded to a threatening letter from mafia leader Alaattin Çakıcı, saying that nobody could threaten the CHP.
His remarks came after Çakıcı threatened Kılıçdaroğlu in a letter by urging him to "watch his step" after the main opposition leader criticized Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli, a close friend of the mafia leader.
"Will you [government] stop releasing mafia leaders, drug traffickers and jailing thought criminals?” Kılıçdaroğlu asked on Nov. 17, which was followed by Çakıcı releasing the threatening letter.
On Nov. 18, Kılıçdaroğlu said that he found it futile to respond to Çakıcı's threats.
"I criticize [President Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan and Bahçeli responds. I criticize Bahçeli, and a leader of the underworld responds," the CHP leader told reporters on Nov. 18.
"Look at what Turkey has come to! The state can become a criminal organization in a place where there is no rule of law or meritocracy," he said.
Çakıcı was released from the Sincan Prison in the capital Ankara early on April 16 after serving 16 years for numerous well-known crimes as part of an amnesty bill that aimed to lighten the load of prisons during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The mafia leader is known for his close ties to Bahçeli who visited the convict in prison, and whom Çakıcı visited as his first stop after his release.
While the CHP leader on Nov. 18 filed a complaint against Çakıcı, the mafia leader responded to the main opposition head with yet another threat.
"Get Bahçeli's name out of your mouth, you couldn't even add up to his balls," Çakıcı said in a letter.
"Rather than speaking like a woman, get me killed if you have the guts," he added.
Çakıcı's letter 'may be a move to sabotage Erdoğan's statements on reforms'
Separately, a pro-government news website questioned the timing of Çakıcı's letter, saying that it may be a move to "sabotage" Erdoğan's recent statements on launching a judicial reform.
"Kılıçdaroğlu may be criticized from all sorts of ways, but it's not normal for the interior and justice ministers to remain silent when he faces threats from an individual who was involved and who organized numerous crimes," read a piece on Haksöz Haber.
"Their silence would mean destroying and denying the messages that Erdoğan has been conveying to the public for the past week. Alaattin Çakıcı seems to be brought forward to sabotage the process that was presented as a reform," it added.