President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has slammed main opposition Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) newly elected Istanbul province chair Canan Kaftancıoğlu over her previous Twitter posts, stating that the posts amount to “enmity of the nation.”
“To insult our nation’s values, history and culture is not politics. Its name can only be enmity of the nation,” Erdoğan said on Jan. 16, addressing the AKP group in the parliament.
Kaftancıoğlu was elected as CHP Istanbul Provincial chair on Jan. 14, becoming the first woman elected to the post.
On the same day of her election, a “terror propaganda” investigation was opened against her, with the focus on a number of social media posts accusing her of “carrying out propaganda for the outlawed Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) and Revolutionary People’s Liberation Front (DHKP-C).”
She is also accused of insulting the president and demeaning the state of the Turkish Republic.
“I am a doctor and a mother. As someone who has devoted my entire life to the human rights struggle, I have always condemned terrorism and terrorist organizations,” she wrote on Twitter after news of the investigation broke.
Repeating the accusations to his party group, Erdoğan brandished the CHP member’s twitter posts that are currently under investigation amid chants from AKP followers.
He underlined her posts tweeted during the 2013 Gezi Park Protests and the 2016 coup attempt, accusing her of “supporting vandalism,” “representing the state as a killer,” “provocation to crime,” “insulting national values” and “wishing one dollar to be worth four liras.”
“If the political alternative of Turkey is a CHP whose Istanbul province chair is this individual, more’s the pity for my nation and my country,” he said.
“I know some CHP supporters do not approve of this ugliness, this treason, this worthlessness. I am calling out to them. It is a great loss for our democracy that Turkey’s main opposition party should be so wasted on a small number of marginal people,” he said.
“An understanding that has turned the opposition into a mouthpiece of a terrorist organization, even appointing terror organization members, has taken the CHP captive,” he added.
Kaftancıoğlu: The people will win
Kaftancıoğlu has responded to Erdoğan’s accusations through her official Twitter account.
“I will ask the judiciary to account for those, especially Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who have disgraced the state and state institutions with lies and tricks for the sake of their own prosperity,” Kaftancıoğlu posted on Jan. 16, refuting the accusations.
“His untruthful allegations, his slandering tongue and his character assassinations show how helpless he is,” she added.
“We are the people, we are right and we will win,” she posted.
Criminal complaint against Kılıçdaroğlu
Erdoğan also said he had filed a criminal complaint against CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu for his comments over a worker who had tried to set himself on fire in front of the parliament building on Jan. 12 to protest his financial difficulties and deteriorating living standards.
Kılıçdaroğlu mentioned on Jan. 13 the worker Sıtkı Aydın, who is currently in medical care, in his criticism of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
“Why did you come to parliament, you should have gone to the Presidential Palace and burnt yourself,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.
Referring to Kılıçdaroğlu’s comments as “remorseless and immoral,” Erdoğan said they filed the complaint with the CHP leader for “inciting crime.”
“He said ‘you should have burnt yourself in front of the palace, and then burnt the palace afterwards,’” Erdoğan said.
“We are opening suits against Mr. Kemal,” he added.