Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the leader of Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), spoke during his party’s parliamentary group meeting on Tuesday.
Kılıçdaroğlu condemned Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for his role in the Turkish lira’s sinking to an historic low.
“The poverty threshold in Turkey is 10,335 Turkish lira, the minimum wage is 2,988 Turkish lira. This government has forgotten all about the Turkish lira,” he said.
“They have borrowed money from their own citizens in dollars, in euros. This is what the economists call the original sin,” he said, explaining that what the Turkish government has committed corresponds to the “original sin” in an economic sense.
“That means that if a government leaves its own currency and borrows money from its citizens in foreign currencies, this is called the original sin. Who has fallen into that sin? This government,” he said.
He criticised the fact that those who have dollars have made over 100% profit in a few months, describing those groups as “the palace elites,” referring to the close circle of Erdoğan and his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
“That ballot box will be brought here: we will go to the ballot box, and we will teach those palace elites a lesson,” he said.
“They have siphoned 128 billion dollars. The dollar was around 6 TL, now it has exceeded 12 TL. That makes a 100% profit. Who would donate such a profit to those who have bought dollars? Those who were tamed by the dollar.”
Kılıçdaroğlu strongly criticised Erdoğan, saying that from now on, he poses a problem for Turkey’s “national security.”
“He says he wages a national liberation war. We don’t buy this,” he said.
Addressing Erdoğan, he said, “Stop pumping people up, sit down and do your duties. You have eliminated the Turkish lira, you have turned it into a discredited currency. Isn’t this moving towards dependency? You have sold out our economic independence. From this day on, you are a problem of national security to the state of the Republic of Turkey.”
Turkey’s lira nose-dived 15% on Tuesday in its second-worst day ever after President Erdogan defended recent sharp rate cuts, and vowed to win his “economic war of independence,” despite widespread criticisms and pleas to reverse course.
The sharp decrease in Turkey’s lira’s value has triggered debates of “early elections” in Turkey for a while now.
Kılıçdaroğlu and Iyi Party leader Meral Akşener on 20 November called for early elections at a joint press conference.
“There is only one solution: elections, elections, elections. Mr. Erdoğan’s stubbornness pushes the country to the edge of the cliff each passing day,” Akşener said.