The Istanbul provincial building of centre-right Good Party (İYİP), part of Turkey’s six-party opposition bloc, became the target of an armed attack by unidentified gunmen on Friday.
After the incident, İYİP leader Meral Akşener recalled the recent threatening statements President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had used against her. “Take away the bullets that are aimed at us, knowing your threats as their duty,” Akşener said, addressing Erdoğan in a statement from the Istanbul provincial building.
Akşener stated that the President’s threat to her was not a first. She noted that Erdoğan had previously said “these are her good days” and this was followed by her being attacked, just as the time when her home was raided after being told, “You are doing wrong, lady“.
Emphasising that those who raided her house and attacked her were acquitted, Akşener said, “I know that they will not be able to catch the perpetrators of this attack either.”
“Turkey cannot be a tribal state, it cannot be governed through this monstrous system,” said the İYİP leader and urged everyone, especially women, to vote for the opposition presidential candidate, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, to change the system.
Meanwhile, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said that the attack was probably a provocation, but added, “However, directing hostility without determining the cause of the incident is both a provocation and spreading political opportunism over this heinous event.”
While the presidential candidate Kılıçdaroğlu shared a message of support for Akşener, the opposition bloc’s Future Party Chairman Ahmet Davutoğlu said, “I warn Erdoğan once again from here, get out and openly condemn the attack on the İYİP, and find the perpetrators.”
In a TV broadcast he attended on Wednesday evening, President Erdoğan addressed Akşener and said, “Be careful with our names. My name is Tayyip, and my last name is Erdoğan. Pay attention to Erdoğan, pay attention to the name of Tayyip. When you talk, speak accordingly. Don’t bother me with yourself.”
Saying that it is unacceptable to try to intimidate opposing political parties six weeks before the elections, Akşener called it “a great injustice and insult to the electorate.“