Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the presidential candidate for the opposition Nation Alliance and leader of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), addressed the public in Istanbul’s Çatalca on Monday, ahead of the upcoming 14 May elections in Turkey.
In his speech, Kılıçdaroğlu emphasised that this election is not about political parties but rather about the fate of democracy in Turkey. “Either democracy or dictatorship. This is our choice, and we will fight for democracy, justice, and gender equality,” he said.
Kılıçdaroğlu criticised the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), and its ally, the ultra-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), for their 20-year rule, arguing that they have failed to create a peaceful and prosperous country. He claimed that citizens are unhappy, with the economy in shambles, and that the government’s foreign policies have been disastrous, citing the recent conflict in Syria that resulted in the death of 34 Turkish soldiers.
Furthermore, Kılıçdaroğlu vowed to hold those who have committed financial crimes accountable for their actions, stating that he would not pardon anyone who has taken advantage of the public’s trust. He also promised to support farmers and reduce their debts by removing the high-interest rates on their loans.
Kılıçdaroğlu concluded his speech by reiterating his commitment to building a Turkey that is peaceful and prosperous for all citizens. “We will not sit in palaces, but rather work for the betterment of society, and we will hold those in power accountable for their actions,” he said.