TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) - “Erdogan is definitely shying away and scared of me” said Kilicdaroglu, leader of Turkey’s Republican People's Party (CHP), in comments released Sunday.
He said that Erdogan’s nearly daily speeches in which he threatens the CHP leader with legal actions over CHP’s increased dissent shows that the president is suffering from "Kilicdaroglu illness."
“He sees me as a threat. He is from time to time delivering speeches that contain threats but we will not be frightened off by their threats,” Kilicdaroglu told the Agence France-Presse as part of an interview.
The CHP leader’s comments comes in the middle of a meeting he is chairing to study rights violations that has occurred in Turkey since a failed coup against Erdogan last summer. More than 150,000 people have either been arrested or discharged from jobs on allegations of having links to coup plotters.
The so-called “Justice Congress”, being held in the western Canakkale region, comes nearly two months after Kilicdaroglu concluded a 450-kilometers Justice March from Ankara to Istanbul to draw attentions to Erdogan’s massive post-coup crackdown.
Analysts say the two events have successfully managed to influence the public opinion against Erdogan and created a fresh momentum for the CHP in its quest to end Erdogan’s almost one and a half decades of rule as premier and president.
During the interview with the AFP, Kilicdaroglu said the fact that Erdogan attacks him in nearly every public speech shows the president has clearly become worried about CHP’s justice-seeking movement. The opposition leader said, however, that he would not be deterred by Erdogan’s threats of legal action, Presstv reported.
“Let him (Erdogan) threaten as much as he wants, we are right. We will defend justice, democracy, judicial independence and media freedom to the end because we are right,” he said.