Turkey’s main opposition “sliding towards fascism” - Erdoğan

Turkey’s opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) is sliding towards fascism, pro-government Star quoted President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as saying on Friday.

“The individual at the head of the main opposition says that Turkey will make one of two choices at the upcoming elections,” Erdoğan said. “He says that these are between those who are with democracy and those with an authoritarian regime.”

If a person truly believed in democracy, he said, they would respect the choice of the nation.

“From this perspective, the CHP, just as in the single-party era, is fast sliding towards fascism.”

The CHP was the only political party in Turkey to stand in elections between 1923 and 1945.

“They march from Ankara to Istanbul in order to defend terrorist organisations and putschists,” Erdoğan said, referring to the “Justice March” begun by CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu after the arrest of CHP parliamentarian Enis Berberoğlu on espionage charges.

“For these people, freedom of thought is the freedom to express their own ideas and the freedom to insult opposing ideas,” Erdoğan added.

Kılıçdaroğlu had stressed the importance of roundly defeating the AKP at the 2019 elections.

“Our aim is not 50 (percent) plus one … The road to escaping Turkey’s present dead-end is winning at least 60 percent,” he was quoted by Cumhuriyet as saying on Thursday.

However, Kılıçdaroğlu said, that would be if elections were held at all.

“Tomorrow or the next day they could issue a state of emergency order and say ‘I’ve shut down the government entirely’,” he said. “In any case, the Constitutional Court has said ‘I am not looking at these cases (relating to state of emergency).”

“Indeed, they could also close the Constitutional Court.”

He said that the present law against insulting the president was untenable when the president refused to abide by the constitutional requirement of acting in an apolitical manner.

“Let them change the constitution,” Kılıçdaroğlu said. “(to say) ‘Whatever (critics of Erdoğan) are going to say, they have to shut up’.”