Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu on Tuesday strongly criticised autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan over his pressure on mayors to resign, saying the state is not a mafia threatening the family of a mayor to force him to quit, Cumhuriyet reported.
Ahmet Edip Uğur, the mayor of Balıkesir, on Monday resigned in tears under mounting pressure exerted by President Erdoğan, saying that the pressure and threats were now extending to his family.
“I am calling on the person [President Erdoğan] who sits in the palace. Under what kind of ethics you can accuse the family of a mayor? How can you exert all kinds of pressure on the family of a mayor?” said Kılıçdaroğlu during a speech at the CHP group meeting in Parliament. “Threatening the family is a method of the mafia. A person who is in a state post cannot use the mafia’s methods.”
Recalling a statement made by Bülent Tezcan, deputy chairman of the CHP, in Tekirdağ on Monday calling Erdoğan a “fascist dictator,” Kılıçdaroğlu said: “Tackling the family of a mayor displays the force of a fascist dictatorship.”
Criticizing Erdoğan and his government’s policy of changing mayors by pressuring them, the CHP leader said: “They have dismissed 101 mayors under state of emergency decrees and appointed others in their place. Now, 41 percent of the population is not ruled by the mayors they elected. This can normally only be seen during coup periods.” (turkishminute.com)