Turkish main opposition leader vows to press Erdoğan for early elections

Turkey's main opposition CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has said that he will do everything in his power to force Erdoğan to declare early elections as the country's economic crisis is deepening. Meanwhile, İYİ (Good) Party leader Meral Akşener said that Erdoğan was committing “treason” by holding onto his position as the president since he can no longer govern the country.

This collage photo shows Kılıçdaroğlu (L) and Erdoğan.

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Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has said that he will do everything in his power to force President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government to declare early elections amid the current economic crisis.

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.”

Kılıçdaroğlu made the comments on Nov. 24 after holding an emergency meeting with the members of his party's Central Executive Board (MYK).

Kılıçdaroğlu said that the lira's crash against the dollar benefitted the rich who have already dollars, whereas millions of others have found themselves stuck more in debt.

“Those having dollar have made a profit of 20 percent, 25 percent in one day without laboring at all. Those serving dollar barrons cannot serve Turkish citizens,” Kılıçdaroğlu was quoted as saying by online news outlet Haber Sol.

Akşener says Erdoğan committing 'treason' by holding onto presidency

İYİ (Good) Party leader Meral Akşener similarly slammed Erdoğan for pushing Turkey into a deepening crisis and for his hesitancy to declare early elections.

Criticizing Erdoğan's aides and lawmakers for proceeding with their classical discourse that “foreign powers” are attacking Turkey, Akşener said the current picture is solely the result of the AKP's failing policies.

“As our nation is getting poorer every day, the ignorance festival under the patronage of Erdoğan [referring to Erdoğan's associates] is going at full speed. These are not the cadres that an important part of our nation has given their approval,” Akşener said following her party's parliamentary group meeting on Nov. 24.

Akşener said that Erdoğan was committing “treason” by holding onto his position as the president and by not calling early elections as he can no longer manage the country.

“It is the biggest treason to occupy an office without being able to manage it. You have obtained the authorization [to run the country] and abused your power. When our people cannot find jobs, you have enjoyed yourself at the [Presidential] palace. You will pay for it at the first ballot box. You should have no doubt of it,” she said.

The lira hit all-time lows against the dollar in all 11 consecutive sessions before Nov. 24 and has lost as much as 45% of its value this year, with around half of those losses occurring since the start of last week.

Bankers said liquidity had virtually dried up, with moves to Nov. 23's all-time low of 13.45 driven by panic dollar buying.

Many Turks, already grappling with inflation of around 20%, fear price rises will accelerate. Opposition politicians have accused Erdoğan of dragging the country towards disaster.

Erdoğan has defended the central bank's monetary policy and vowed to win his "economic war of independence", but faces widespread criticism, including from top economists, and calls for action to reverse the slide in the currency.

There has been no sign of any intervention to boost the currency. The central bank said on Nov. 23 it could only do so under certain conditions in "excessive volatility".

Erdogan has pressured the central bank to move to an aggressive easing cycle with the goal of boosting exports, investment and jobs.

But many economists have described the rate cuts as reckless and opposition politicians called for immediate elections.