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Turkish Opposition Presses for Early Elections

Turkish Opposition Presses for Early Elections

Monday, 17 May, 2021 - 08:00
Protestors at a demonstration against Turkey's withdrawal from a women’s protection convention last Tuesday (EPA)

Opposition parties in Turkey are pressuring President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to hold early elections after the leader apologized to the country’s business owners for damages they sustained under the 17-day nationwide lockdown since April 29.

“We certainly forgive each other,” said Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu in an interview, but still demanded holding “early and immediate” elections.

The main opposition leader reaffirmed to a female CHP audience that his party was “working as though elections are tomorrow.”

Reiterating determination to save Turkey from the “whirlwind” it fell into, Kılıçdaroğlu said there was “no other solution.”

He also echoed the Turkish youth’s desire to live in a country without an “oppressive regime.”

In a public address on May 12, which marked the Muslim Eid al-Fitr holiday, Erdogan acknowledged the hardships facing traders under quarantine and asked them all for their “understanding.”

Meral Akşener, who heads the İYİ Party (Good Party), reminded that elections are the proper arena for Erdogan to ask for the Turkish people’s forgiveness truly.

“Erdogan, you seem to have forgotten that politicians ask for people’s tolerance through ballot boxes, not from the seat of government, and since you ask for a reprieve, do not be afraid to place the ballot boxes in front of the people,” tweeted Akşener.

She urged the Turkish president to reconcile with farmers, merchants, and jobless youth who have been struggling lately.

Also, future party leader and former Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu predicted the downfall of oppressive regimes in Turkey, telling Erdogan that “fit” governance was on the horizon and that the people will “smile again.”

Former CHP presidential candidate and dissident Muharrem Ince, for his part, argued that Erdogan’s government couldn’t ask for lenience at the same time it is collecting taxes.

It is worth noting that the Turkish opposition is accusing authorities of not having clear plans to confront the repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic and is pressing for early elections.

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