Turkey’s opposition leader Meral Akşener has been verbally attacked by an angry mob, calling her to resign, during a visit in Turkey’s central Sivas province on Tuesday.
Akşener, who heads the nationalist Good Party (İYİP), was meeting local shop owners, when she was confronted, Birgün Newspaper reported.
Akşener replied the group in a rhetorical manner as saying, “If you want, I will resign,” the newspaper said.
This was the second mob attack targeting Akşener since May. Supporters of Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) have accosted Akşener during her visit to the Black Sea province of Rize, the hometown of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in late May.
She was approached by a woman who accused her of supporting the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), an armed group that has fought for Kurdish autonomy in Turkey for almost four decades and recognised as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.
A subsequent confrontation between Akşener’s supporters and the group of pro-government protesters cut the visit short, forced her to leave the site.
After the incident in Rize, “There will be more. These are your good days,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said.
This time the attackers in Sivas blamed Akşener for being a FETO member, short for “Fethullahist Terrorist Organisation,” in other name the Gülen Movement, which Turkey accuses for attempting to overthrow the government in a failed coup of July 2016, Birgün reported.
Following the attack, the police intervened in the crowd, it said.
Mob attacks on opposition politicians have become common in Turkey over the past years. In 2019, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), was attacked by a mob in capital Ankara, during a soldier’s funeral.