ANKARA – Hürriyet Daily News
Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, has rejected the main opposition party’s claims the president is displeased by the prime minister's contribution to the country’s political discourse.
In recent remarks, leader of the main opposition People’s Republican Party, or CHP, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said President Abdullah Gül was displeased by the state of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s political discourse, as well as that of the opposition. “Using such language is the biggest disrespect to people. Is ‘respect’ written in Recep Bey’s book? I don’t think so,” he said.
However, at a press conference late Wednesday, AKP spokesman and deputy leader Hüseyin Çelik hit back at the comments. “Has the president appointed you as spokesman? Should Gül become uncomfortable with this issue, he can speak for himself,” he said.
“President Gül is uncomfortable with your slandering the prime minister as a counterfeiter and calling AKP members bandits. He is also uncomfortable with your calling everyone thieves,” he said.
Çelik also hit back at Kılıçdaroğlu’s claims that prime minister had said each faith group in Turkey wanted to establish their own legal systems, saying Erdoğan never made such a statement.
“Erdoğan’s statements can only be interpreted in the way that if there were tolerance toward religions in the past, today there is even more. Apparently Kılıçdaroğlu has no knowledge of the (grammatical) modes of the Turkish language,” said Çelik.
Çelik addressed Kılıçdaroğlu’s criticism that Erdoğan had reneged on a promised new prison facility for the southeastern Anatolian city of Diyarbakır. “When the prime minister was describing the time when that infamous prison would be closed down, he said it would be closed down once the new one is built. We simply will not destroy the prison and keep the convicts at CHP headquarters.”