Turkey’s main opposition leader: we are living in fear

Kemal Kilicdaroglu, Leader of the Republican People's Party, CHP

Speaking to the German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung Turkey’s main opposition leader, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, has said “The AKP is using the state. Erdogan is controlling 90% of the media. Every hour of the day there is Erdogan propaganda. He has placed the judiciary under his own control. Anyone that makes criticisms is scared of going to prison. we are living in an atmosphere of fear”.

The leader of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) also said, “[We] will not conduct our campaign against Erdogan. Everyone sees the state Erdogan is in today. Since AKP took power, Turkey has regressed in almost every sphere. We have distanced ourselves from the West and become introverted. What else can Erdogan do to this country? The problem is bigger than Erdogan. The constitution will remain even after Erdogan goes away and it will be difficult to change this situation. If the constitutional reform is adopted, this will mean the end of democracy in Turkey”.

In a question on why the CHP won’t work with the left-wing Peoples’ Democracy Party (HDP) who are also leading a ‘no’ campaign for the referendum, Kilicdaroglu said, “Every party has their own way of addressing its supporters, their own rhetoric. But the message is the same: This change does not serve democracy in Turkey”.

Kilicdaroglu who has criticised German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s previous visits to Turkey commented on the German’s upcoming visit to Turkey on Thursday. “Even if Merkel isn’t coming to show support for Erdogan, this is how he will portray it. Merkel has visited Turkey before in the middle of election campaigns, this angered the opposition; maybe this is another visit like those of the past, to support Erdogan”.