Meral Aksener, the leader of the Turkish opposition Good Party (IYIP) slammed President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for declaring the country’s “equal and honorable” Kurdish citizens as outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants.
“In the recent weeks, we are witnessing Erdogan’s hateful delusions. Last week’s lucky winners were the Kurds,” Aksener said in an address to her party’s deputies in the parliament on Wednesday.
“They are angry with everyone they do not see as part of themselves. There’s a hatred of the republic. They feel an unquenchable hostility against the will of this country,” Aksener said, Diken reported on Wednesday.
Last week, Erdogan urged his new deputy to have more children, claiming that PKK members are having 15, prompting heavy criticism from political opposition and women’s and human rights defenders.
“How many children do you have,” Erdogan asked Mehmet Ali Celebi who has recently joined his Justice and Development Party (AKP). Following Celebi’s answer that he has one child, “No, we need to increase the numbers. Children are very important. Look, the PKK has 5, 10 and 15,” Erdogan said to Celebi and his wife, standing next to him.
Opposition parties immediately blasted Erdogan of referring to the Kurds via saying PKK and condemned him of racism.
“Erdogan knows very well that PKK members do not have children. He actually makes a national statement by referring to the Kurdish population,” said Meral Danis Bestas, the parliamentary group chair of pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP).
“This is being racist. This is being anti-Kurdish. This is the language of hate,” she said.
“Since the children of this country were not born in the Qandil mountains, your point is very clear, Mr. Erdogan. Your remarks are disrespectful to human rights and women’s rights. Every child born in this country is an honorable citizen of the Republic of Turkey. Discrimination among children is racism,” Ahmet Davutoglu, the leader of the Future Party (GP) said.
“He tells every woman he sees how many children they should have. He knows that they [PKK members] do not give birth to 5-10 children on the mountains, but he accuses millions of our Kurdish citizens of terrorism. This is shameful,” Ali Babacan, the leader of Turkey’s Democracy and Progress Party (DEVA) said.
Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) parliamentary group deputy chair Ozgur Ozel also said that he was saddened by Erdogan’s remarks.
“Who are you to say that PKK members have 5 or 10 children? If you want, you do as many too, as a method of combating the group. Everyone understood what you have meant, but I’m ashamed to say it,” Ozel said.