“Those who rule Turkey are engaging in corruption,” Kılıçdaroğlu said in a meeting with non-governmental organizations representatives in the western province of İzmir on June 19.
He criticized the 16 years of AKP rule for increasing lack of accountability in public expenditure, stating that total spending between 2003 and 2017 was $2.7 trillion, far exceeding the total for the entire republican between 1923 and 2002 of $713 billion.
“When we ask what they spend these $2 trillion, they say they are building roads and bridges. When we ask how much they cost, they accuse us of being against building roads and bridges. We don’t oppose bridges, we are simply asking how much you spend on them,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.
“If you have spent the taxes that people have paid, then I have a right to ask about it,” he added.
Kılıçdaroğlu compared the cost of infrastructure projects overseen by the CHP-run metropolitan municipality in the western province of İzmir with those of Istanbul, saying there is a “huge gap between the costs.”
Citing the example of the 4-kilometer Sabuncu Tunnel between İzmir and neighboring Manisa province, Kılıçdaroğlu said the central government has spent 536 million Turkish Liras on the tunnel, amounting to 134 million liras per kilometer. In contrast, the İzmir Municipality has built a 2.5-kilometer tunnel in Buca for 110 million liras, amounting to 44 million liras per kilometer.
“There is a 100 million lira gap between these two projects. Where has this money gone? Who have you given this money to?” Kılıçdaroğlu said.
“I am addressing to all my brothers and sisters who support the AKP. If you vote for this administration, you are being a partner of undeserved gain. Do not be a part of ill-gotten gains,” he added.
“I am criticizing the officials of a political party, not its supporters … Those who rule Turkey are engaging in corruption. Those who rule Turkey are stealing the bread of the poor,” he said.