Turkish opposition parties repeat call for snap elections

Two leaders of Turkish opposition parties, main opposition Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu and centre-right Good Party’s (İYİP) Meral Akşener have called for snap elections in a joint press conference on Wednesday.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) government can no longer govern the country, Kılıçdaroğlu said at the press event.

“Either you go as the director of the central bank, make statements in its name, or do not meddle. Such a grand institution has been robbed of its dignity even in the eyes of the world,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.

“Do not put such a burden on the people’s shoulders,” Kılıçdaroğlu added. “Turkey must hold elections at once.”

Akşener, who briefly served as Interior Minister in the 1990s, spoke of rising poverty and desperation.

“The young have no more hope. Our young university graduates are seeking to go abroad, to work as waiters,” Akşener said.

Erdoğan said Turkey would soar, Akşener added, but “we are faced with the reality that it has crashed to the ground”.

CHP and İYİP top cadres regarding the economy “will work together from today onwards”, Akşener added. “There is no cure but an election.”

Turkey cannot bear “more destruction, more poverty, more lack of access to education”, the right-wing leader added.

“The only way out is an election. Whoever our nation prefers must be respected.”

Opinion polls show that the political landscape in Turkey has changed significantly over recent years, with the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbating already existing problems with unemployment and inflation, among other economic woes.

The highest vote AKP ever won was 49.5 percent in the November 2015 elections, while current estimates show that the party could receive as little as 32.6 percent of the vote, only reaching around 40 percent with added support from its alliance partners, according to a study by MetroPOLL.

“As the lira melts away, Turkey is starting to resemble a country completely below economic standards, a poor country,” Kılıçdaroğlu said. “There is a perception that all of Turkey’s assets can be bought for very little in dollars.”

The opposition leader said the central bank was watching idly by while its duty was to keep the currency’s value.

“We know that states with bad economies won’t have sound independence either,” Akşener said.

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