Slamming the smear campaigns of the pro-government media against critics, Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said on Saturday that the pro-government media is no different than the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
The media outlets that unequivocally support the government are often called “pool media” in Turkey since they are financed by a “pool of government’s cronies.”
Kılıçdaroğlu said, “The pool media is no different from the PKK,” as he made a call to deputies to veto a constitutional amendment that will be voted in Parliament on Monday.
Kılıçdaroğlu assumes that the pool media is going to attack the CHP for its campaign against the constitutional amendments, which will further expand President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s powers.
In reference to an armed attack by the PKK targeting his convoy in the summer, Kılıçdaroğlu said that “the PKK attacked me. They [the pro-government media] attack me, too.”
Calling the Gülen movement a terrorist organization, just as the government does, Kılıçdaroğlu labeled the peaceful movement as “FETÖ,” in line with Erdoğan’s rhetoric. “FETÖ” is a derogatory term coined by Erdoğan to declare the Gülen movement a terrorist organization despite the lack of any violence perpetrated by the movement.
Kılıçdaroğlu also demanded to know the status of two Turkish soldiers who were allegedly burned to death by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). He urged the government to make a statement on ISIL’s claim.
The Turkish government has been silent since ISIL first released a video claiming to have burnt two Turkish soldiers to death in December.
Following the release of the video, Turkey restricted access to the Internet as only a few media outlets had mentioned the story. Despite an urgent inquiry from the opposition, the Ministry of Defense only said that the authenticity of the video was being investigated. Defense Minister Fikri Işık merely confirmed that three soldiers were captives of ISIL.