Deputy PM threatens main opposition leader: He will be harmed if he doesn’t give up

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Recep Akdağ

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Recep Akdağ on Sunday warned main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu that he could be harmed if he does not change his style of opposition, T24 reported.

Criticizing critical statements by Kılıçdaroğlu about a failed coup attempt in 2016, corruption operations of December 2013 and tax haven investments made by Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s family and close circle, Akdağ said: “Mr. Kılıçdaroğlu’s manner is pretty sleazy. He will be harmed if he doesn’t give it up.”

Calling the comments a threat to Kılıçdaroğlu, the CHP parliamentary group deputy chairman, Engin Özkoç, said they are prepared to sue Deputy Prime Minister Akdağ.

Akdağ also called on the CHP leader to act more like Devlet Bahçeli, the chairman of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) who has recently been supportive of Erdoğan and his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government.

Akdağ’s remarks came one day after Erdoğan warned the CHP leader that time was running out for him.

“You will pay in court. Your day is approaching,” Erdoğan said on Saturday during a party meeting in Yalova province, accusing Kılıçdaroğlu of slandering his family with fake documents.

Testing President Erdoğan’s challenge that he would resign if anyone were to reveal any documents proving allegations that he has money in offshore tax havens, Kılıçdaroğlu on Nov. 28 said Erdoğan’s close circle sent about $15 million to an offshore company called Bellway Limited on the Isle of Man.

The CHP leader on Dec. 5 shared an intelligence report showing that President Erdoğan was warned about Turkish-Iranian gold trader Reza Zarrab’s relationships with several ministers.

In a report dated April 2013, the National Intelligence Organization (MIT) warned then-Prime Minister Erdoğan about Zarrab’s corrupt relations with Turkish Cabinet members. MİT also told Erdoğan that the US could add Zarrab to the list of people who violated sanctions on Iran and that the revelation of Zarrab’s relations with Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan and Interior Minister Muammer Güler would be used against the government.

Underlining that the report was submitted to Erdoğan nine months before corruption operations that went public on Dec. 17, 2013, Kılıçdaroğlu said: “You [Erdoğan] closed the file. Your government worked with Zarrab. Your government betrayed the Republic of Turkey.”

Kılıçdaroğlu also enraged Erdoğan with his statements last year that a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016 was a controlled attempt which was known by Erdoğan.

“A coup is controlled coup when it is known beforehand and not prevented and its results made use of,” Kılıçdaroğlu said on July 30.

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