Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan specifically targeted the main opposition party leader in his weekly speech at the parliament group meeting after the deputies for the Republican People’s Party (CHP) voted against the ‘war motion’ that authorised an extension of Turkish military operations in Syria and Iraq.
He called Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the leader of CHP, ‘the footman’ of the People’s Democratic Party’ for siding with the latter in the parliamentary vote, then proceeded to show a haunting emotionally charged video accompanied with dramatic music of an angry mob trying to physically attack Kılıçdaroğlu in the town of Çubuklu in April 2019.
Erdoğan also commented on a social media message posted by 10 foreign ambassadors on Monday commenting on their earlier call for the release of a human rights activist, claiming that they had ‘apologised’ for their call.
Claiming that CHP was being blackmailed by the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) and had been asked to vote against the motion in return for support in the upcoming elections.’
“What’s really important here is that the CHP, the second largest party in our country, has surrendered to the HDP. It has submitted to the HDP,” he said, and added:
“It’s true that we are the commanders in chief of the Turkish Armed Forces. What needs to be asked though, is how Kılıçdaroğlu has become the footman of the People’s Democratic Party.”
Also claiming that the CHP was disillusioned by the apology of the ambassadors, Erdoğan claimed that the officials of CHP had no ties with Turkey, neither socially, nor mentally.
He then proceeded to show video footage shot in the town of Çubuklu on 21 April 2019, when Kılıçdaroğlu was pyhsically attacked by a angry mob during the funeral of a soldier killed in an armed clash. Kılıçdaroğlu and a few people around him had narrowly escaped being very seriously injured or worse in that incident which had been triggered, according to many commentators, by the hateful rhetoric of the governing administration officials.
“Let’s remember some of the ravings of this person against public servants,” Erdoğan said, and turned back to watch the video with the audience.
“Kılıçdaroğlu hasn’t drawn any lessons from all the defeats he’s suffered at the ballot box during his 11 years of service,” the voiceover in the video said. “Recently he’s even started insulting citizens as he constantly makes attempts to provoke the people.”