The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has intensified its criticism of main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu by accusing him of acting as “the mouthpiece of foreign lobbies operating against Turkey.”
“The interview he gave to the German magazine Focus shows that he has become the mouthpiece of lobbies operating against Turkey and against President [Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan. He argues there is no right to life or security of property in Turkey. How can the leader of a party that represents 25 percent of the people say such a thing? It’s very sad,” AKP spokesman Mahir Ünal told reporters in Ankara on Aug. 9.
Ünal was referring to Kılıçdaroğlu’s interview with Focus in which he claimed that there was no security for Germans visiting Turkey. CHP leader denied the version that Focus published and demanded a correction from it.
Accusing the CHP of “getting closer to foreign groups hostile to Turkey because of their hatred of Erdoğan,” Ünal claimed that the “CHP had opted to breed this hate.”
He said the AKP has to break this “hate blockage” nourished by the CHP, adding that the AKP is currently conducting a second survey on the 48.6 percent of voters who voted “no” in the April 16 referendum on shifting to an executive presidential system.
‘Five parties within the CHP’
Ünal also predicted that Kılıçdaroğlu would base its strategy for the 2019 presidential and parliamentary elections on trying to consolidate the 48.6 percent who voted “No” in the April referendum. However, under the leadership of Kılıçdaroğlu the CHP looks more like an organization with multiple voices and trends, he claimed.
“In fact, there are five different parties within the CHP that conflict with each other on many issues,” he said.
The AKP spokesman argued that the language used by the CHP leader was “aiming to produce an artificial legitimacy crisis” ever since he was elected party chair in 2010.
“Remember after the 2011 elections. Kılıçdaroğlu immediately sparked a crisis by resisting the taking of parliamentary oaths due to arrested lawmakers. He declared that the parliament was ‘illegitimate.’ His attempts to turn various processes into legitimacy crises have continued since then,” Ünal said.
The CHP leader’s role as the voice of “anti-Turkey lobbies” includes an “alliance” with the Fethullahist Terror Organization (FETÖ) of U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, an ally-turned-nemesis of the AKP government, Ünal claimed, particularly referring to the “MİT trucks crisis.” He suggested that Kılıçdaroğlu was in contact with the now shuttered FETÖ-linked Zaman newspaper in 2015 in the leaking of footage of National Intelligence Organization (MIT) trucks allegedly carrying weapons to fighting groups in Syria.
Recalling that CHP lawmaker Enis Berberoğlu has been in jail since mid-June on espionage charges related to this case, Ünal said the main opposition’s role in the incident “must be questioned.”
The AKP spokesman also claimed that today’s CHP has nothing to do with the ideals and principles of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the modern Republic of Turkey.
“Today’s CHP and its leader have nothing to do with the anti-imperialism and nationalism that Atatürk brought to life. These ideals and principles have been realized by the AKP,” Ünal said.