Turkey's main opposition leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has slammed President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan after the latter threatened to use violence to scare his opponents from protesting him and made a reference to the failed coup attempt of July 2016.
“Hey, the person in the [Presidential] Palace; as you see the [plummeting] voting rates, your ears can no longer hear what your mouth is saying. Today, you have officially started to yell for civil war,” Kılıçdaroğlu tweeted early on Jan. 5.
“This nation would not buy this! This nation will not spill blood on the streets so that you and your family would live in the palaces,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.
“We will send you and your servants off with an election. And before giving your palace to the service of students, we will open it to our people's visitation between 10.00-20.00 every day for three months. Children, months, fathers, everyone will see in what kind of a splendor you have been living,” he further said.
Seni ve beslemelerini seçimle göndereceğiz. Sarayını da öğrencilerin hizmetine vermeden önce; üç ay boyunca her gün 10.00-20.00 saatleri arasında halkımızın ziyaretine açacağız. Çoluk çocuk, anne baba, herkes senin nasıl bir şaşaa içinde yaşadığını görecek.— Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu (@kilicdarogluk) January 4, 2022
Kılıçdaroğlu's remarks came after Erdoğan issued a warning to everyone preparing to protest the government. “So, they will go out on the street shamelessly and tirelessly. Didn't you see the 15th of July? As the People's Alliance, we would put all of you in front of us and chase you off until your destination. We know how to speak the language they understand,” Erdoğan told his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) lawmakers on Jan. 4.
Turkey's economy has been in turmoil since last year when Erdoğan pressured the Central Bank into slashing interest rates. The country's annual inflation rate surged to its highest level since 2002, official data showed Jan. 3, propelled by the currency crisis.
Amid the deepening economic crisis, sporadic protests broke out around Turkey in November. Citizens have been saying that their purchasing power dropped enormously with the wages melting. The opposition has initiated a series of rallies to demand a change of the government.
Kılıçdaroğlu orders party members not to participate in street protests
Meanwhile, Kılıçdaroğlu came together with journalists in Ankara on Jan. 5, answering their questions on a variety of issues. Asked how he evaluates Erdoğan's reference of "July 15, 2016 coup attempt," Kılıçdaroğlu said that his party members will not go on streets to protest.
He said that he had instructed his party members "not to make a scene, not to go on streets and to wait for the elections with patience." He said that Erdoğan has been "living in a world of dream" and that he had created the perception as if the CHP has been encouraging people to participate in street protests.
"We are saying in every place we go. As far I understand, Mr. [Erdoğan] wants us to go on streets. He will push us, pressure us, but we will not do so. We will do what is necessary in the polls," Kılıçdaroğlu said.