Turkish opposition candidate slams partisan general

Turkish opposition presidential candidate Muharrem İnce has said that he will “rip the epaulettes off” a general who applauded President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s criticisms of him, opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet said.

“At the point (in Erdoğan’s speech) where he criticised me, the general (2nd Army Commander İsmail Metin Temel) applauds Erdoğan. The first general I will retire on August 30 is that general. I will rip the epaulettes off him,” İnce said.

“Are you a general in the Turkish army or a Justice and Development Party (AKP) province head?”

In the speech on Friday, Erdoğan had said that “one does not entrust the shop to an apprentice” in relation to İnce’s campaign for the presidency, adding that İnce had no political successes or experience.

His criticisms come partially in response to İnce jokingly calling Erdoğan a more junior politician for arriving in parliament later than he did.

Others applauding at that point included the heads of the Turkish Shopkeepers and Artisans Confederation (TESK) and the Turkish Union of Chambers (of Commerce) and Exchanges (TOBB), Cumhuriyet said.