Erdoğan accuses main opposition of backing ‘terrorists’

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Saturday accused the main opposition party of siding with terrorists and eroding the country's politics.

Erdoğan made the remarks during meeting of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in northern Rize province, BBC Turkish reported.

CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu led a protest march “ in support of members of the FETÖ,” Erdoğan said, referring to the Gülen movement, a religious group designated a terrorist organization and accused by Ankara of orchestrating the 2016 failed coup attempt.

Kılıçdaroğlu in 2017 led a 25-day “March for Justice” from the capital Ankara to Istanbul, joining his supporters at a rally against a judicial decision against one of his party members accused of links to the Gülen movement and espionage. Members of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), which Ankara also accuses of links to terror, also joined the march.

Erdoğan went on to say Kılıçdaroğlu had yet to visit families in southeastern Turkey demonstrating for over two years against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). 

Designated as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the United States and European Union, the PKK has been fighting an armed insurgency against the Turkish state for four decades. 

“Kılıçdaroğlu, who marched from Ankara to Istanbul for members of FETÖ, hasn’t once visited the families of Diyarbakir who are fighting to reunite with their children,” Erdoğan said.

The CHP has failed to take a “national stance” on the issue of families in search of members believed to have been abducted by the PKK, Erdoğan said, while standing against the government’s activities for the betterment of the country.