Despite the opposition’s calls for common sense, officials of the Turkish government and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) continue using a rhetoric that aims to spread fear in society over the country’s imminent elections.
The Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Monday once more talked about alleged ties between the opposition and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) bases in north Iraq’s Qandil.
Erdoğan accused the opposition’s presidential candidate Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu of trying to win the presidential race on 14 May with the support of Qandil during a speech in Turkish Aerospace Industry’s (TUSAŞ) facilities in Ankara.
“My nation will never hand over this country to someone who becomes president with the support of Qandil,” said Erdoğan, prompting reactions on social media from voters concerned about a peaceful transition in government following the critical polls.
Erdoğan also changed his profile picture on Twitter with a new photo showing him with a jet pilot’s coat and sunglasses that promotes his image of a strongman concentrated on security and defence.
Mahir Ünal, the deputy head of the AKP, on Monday told reporters that a judicial coup could follow the elections in the case of an opposition victory, pointing the finger to the Gülen movement, a religious group the Turkish government accused of orchestrating a coup attempt in 2016.
“In that case we will fulfil the responsibility that falls on our shoulders. The parliament will do what is necessary today, as it did in the past against military coups,” said Ünal.
The politician accused the opposition of using illegitimate methods as the country heads to the polls. “We will never allow an operation over the judiciary,” he said.
Mehmet Uçum, one of the top aides of the Turkish president also joined efforts of fear mongering over the elections.
“A change in government in 2023 elections will be a blow on the independence of Turkey,” he said during a live interview with Habertürk television on Monday.
Criticising the opposition’s statements on foreign policy, Uçum said their attitude had not given sufficient guarantees to follow the principal doctrines of the Turkish state.
Following reactions on social media expressing concerns that the government has been trying to intervene in the will of people, Uçum shared a statement on Twitter early Tuesday.
Uçum said that those who claim that the government officials are accusing the voters of plotting a coup are touters who lack credibility.
“It is plain and clear who in this society are coup plotters, who see the voters as subjects rather than objects, who are strangers to their own people, who hope for help from power elites of the West and global imperialism,” he said.
Uçum added that his comments on possible election results have been used for ideological aggression.
Monday’s subsequent statements followed heated debates in Turkey over the comments of Süleyman Soylu, the country’s interior minister, who last week called 14 May elections a political coup.
When confronted by reporters asking whether he accused Turkey’s voters of staging a coup, Soylu pointed ginger to the United States, this time calling 14 May elections an attempt for a political coup by the West.