Turkish President and ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Chairman Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has targeted leftists and communists and said they are not patriots and nationalists, NTV reported on Tuesday.
Erdoğan’s remarks came during a meeting with muhtars, or neighbor heads, in the Turkish capital of Ankara.
“We are constructing an airport on the sea, they are saying ’We don’t want it.’ Who are they? Communists, communists. This airport will bring together two cities, Artvin and Rize, and they say ‘We don’t want it.’ This leftist mentality, these communists, they are never patriots and nationalists.”
Erdoğan also criticized main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Chair Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu for posing in an undershirt during a “March of Justice” Kılıçdaroğlu launched from Ankara to İstanbul in protest of the arrest of a CHP deputy.
“Someone is supposedly marching for justice from Ankara to İstanbul. Now and then he sits in a caravan and eats in an undershirt. Today I saw a newspaper headline, which said ‘citizen so and so.’ This is an insult to my citizens. If my citizen was the leader of a political party, even a main opposition party, he would not tell a journalist ‘Come, take a picture of me’ and then claim ‘I am the leader of Atatürk’s [founder of modern Turkey] party.’ Have you ever seen Atatürk eating like that in an undershirt and have his photo taken?” said Erdoğan.
Erdoğan recently implied that Kılıçdaroğlu could stand trial in connection to the case of arrested CHP deputy Enis Berberoğlu. Underlining that he is ready for everything, Kılıçdaroğlu said his arrest would increase his party’s power. Erdoğan later denied the claims and said Kılıçdaroğlu’s arrest is not on his agenda.
Berberoğlu was arrested in June immediately after he was handed down a prison sentence of 25 years for leaking information for a news report on National Intelligence Organization (MİT) trucks transporting weapons to jihadists in Syria.