Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu on Feb. 18 criticized the government over Turkey’s economic troubles, saying the policies have led to the “impoverishment” of citizens and unemployment to rise.
“Let’s talk about today’s Turkey. Why are the citizens hungry? Why is there unemployment? Our population is almost the same with Germany. Germany is looking for workers, we have unemployment. Why is that so?” Kılıçdaroğlu said.
The CHP leader’s remarks came during his party’s parliamentary group meeting in the capital Ankara.
“There is unemployment, there are parents who are unable to bring food to their children,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.
“Why are tens and thousands of people eating from dumpsters?” he questioned. Kılıçdaroğlu was referring to a recent video footage that emerged on social media, showing four people searching for food from inside a municipality’s garbage container.
“You can see a lot of people right next to the dumpsters. Go to the farmers market in the evening. The poor will collect the wasted [produce] while the sellers are tidying up their stalls,” he said.
“It is impossible for this reality not to hurt one’s conscience.”
Kılıçdaroğlu also criticized the level of Turkey’s imports, saying the country recently imported hay from Switzerland.
“You need to put a break on this,” he said, addressing the public.
Kılıçdaroğlu also said that the “presidential palace” has a different view of Turkey, when compared to what the public has been going through.
“They do not have a problem like unemployment. The palace’s agenda does not include poverty. The socialite of the palace does not even know what poverty is,” he said.
“They do not have concern for the future. But in the public’s Turkey, there is concern for the future. Our youth has given up hope and are looking for their future in foreign countries,” he added.
Syria policy ‘wrong from the start’
The main opposition leader also slammed the government over its foreign policy, especially in Syria, saying the CHP has been warning of the policies’ “fallaciousness.”
“We said, ‘What is your business in the Middle East swamp?’ They criticized us every time. Why are you sending the children of the poor [to Syria],” he said.
“Why are we having martyrs in the Middle East swamp?” Kılıçdaorğlu asked.
The CHP leader also reminded that there are currently over 3.6 million Syrians in the country and Turkey has spent some $40 billion for the care of asylum seekers and refugees.
“Now, one million are coming from Idlib,” he said.
Hurriyet Daily News