Deputy mayor from Erdoğan’s party says opposition politicians need to be hanged

Navi Çokan, a deputy district mayor in southeastern Turkey, said in a Facebook post that the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) is damned and its politicians need to be hanged, Turkish media reported.

Çokan claimed that the CHP had adopted a Jacobin approach patronizing the society from the day it was established. “This time they are after policies targeting our lungs. Hanging them is a must,” he said, in apparent reference to the CHP’s criticism of the government’s management of recent wildfires.

Çokan is deputy mayor of the Akçakale district of Şanlıurfa province from the governing Justice and Development Party (AKP).

His words caused ire among CHP members. In a series of tweets CHP deputy Mahmut Tanal said Çokan had committed the crime of inciting public hatred and needs to be prosecuted.

“We also demand an explanation as to how this person, who was a public servant in the governor’s office, was appointed deputy mayor,” Tanal said. “According to the law on public servants, they can’t be involved in politics.”

He called on Şanlıurfa Governor Abdullah Erin to start disciplinary action against Çokan.

According to the Cumhuriyet daily, CHP Şanlıurfa lawmaker Aziz Aydınlık and the party’s provincial chair on Monday filed a criminal complaint against Çokan. “It has been five days. Yet, he has not been removed from office nor have any apologies been issued,” Aydınlık said. “The CHP is a political party that received 11.5 million votes. Anyone who calls this party ‘damned’ and wants to hang its members will face justice.”

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