Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has shared a video on social media showing the dozens of gas lamps ("kandil" in Turkish) sent to him by provincial organizations of the National Movement Party (MHP) as per Devlet Bahçeli's request.
The threatening gifts come after Kılıçdaroğlu said he would not pay his electrical bill following price hikes announced by the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and MHP-led government. In response, MHP leader Bahçeli encouraged the party organizations to send Kılıçdaroğlu oil lamps.
With this move, using a play on words for “oil lamp,” Bahçeli implied that Kılıçdaroğlu was linked to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which Turkey considers a terrorist organization.
“I expect our provincial organizations to help enlighten Kılıçdaroğlu by sending a lamp, I share this invitation. He is not a stranger to Kandil [Mountains] anyway,” he said.
He said that the CHP leader was swimming in “dangerous waters.”
Kandil is both the word for an oil lamp in Turkish and the name of the region in which the PKK maintains many of its key camps in northern Iraq.
Kılıçdaroğlu said that the oil camps will be exhibited at the CHP headquarters' museum under the name of "Bahçeli oil lamps" and that the MHP’s threats were “futile.”
"They are threatening me with cutting my electricity. They are saying, 'You will freeze' [of cold]. They are saying, 'You will stay in darkness.' These are futile efforts," Kılıçdaroğlu said in his video.
Bahçeli’nin kandilleri… pic.twitter.com/56RtE0Isaz— Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu (@kilicdarogluk) February 21, 2022
He said that Bahçeli was openly advocating for the profits of the “gang of five” -- the five large holding companies linked to the government and which control many of the energy companies in Turkey.
Kılıçdaroğlu said he would hold out until the price hikes were reversed.
“The hikes will be withdrawn. These oil lamps will also take their place in our museum as a nice souvenir. As Bahçeli oil lamps,” he said.