Erdoğan, cronies planning to flee Turkey to avoid future prosecution: main opposition leader

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Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has claimed that the country’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and his close circle are planning to flee the country to avoid prosecution when the government changes.

Kılıçdaroğlu’s remarks came at a meeting of his party in parliament on Tuesday while he was repeating an earlier call he made to bureaucrats not to obey unlawful orders from Erdoğan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP) government.

The CHP leader said, “There’s a mass escape plan in place,” and that he would reveal the details in a live video broadcast on social media at 10 p.m. Turkish time. According to Kılıçdaroğlu, Erdoğan and people in his close circle including his family members are planning to flee Turkey and that Erdoğan is transferring huge amounts of money abroad through “parallel structures” that appear to be foundations. He said Erdoğan’s family members are trying to obtain residence and work permits in foreign countries through those foundations.

Kılıçdaroğlu made his claim based on the assumption that Erdoğan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP) see a likely defeat in the general and presidential elections scheduled for 2023 and will be tried for the crimes they allegedly committed.

“You will not be included in the rescue operation for several hundred people. The door of that plane will never be opened for you. I will expose this scandal at 10 p.m., and then you will listen to me. My goal is to save you from the circle of dirt that they put you in,” Kılıçdaroğlu said, appealing to bureaucrats.

Kılıçdaroğlu called on the country’s bureaucrats in a video message he released on Twitter in October to refrain from engaging in the AKP government’s unlawful acts since the government would soon change hands and investigations would be launched into such acts.

“As of Monday, October 18, you will be held responsible for all the support you give to the unlawful demands of this government. You can’t dodge responsibility for unlawful acts, saying, ‘I was ordered to do it.’ As of Monday, stop doing whatever you are unlawfully ordered to do,” Kılıçdaroğlu said in the video.

Erdoğan is accused by critics of establishing a one-man’s rule in the country, engaging in massive corruption and using the state’s resources for the benefit of his family and cronies while the the Turkish people are overwhelmed by the increasing cost of living caused by the depreciation of the Turkish lira and a record level of inflation at around 70 percent.

Public surveys show Erdoğan and his election ally, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), losing considerable public support.

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