Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has said President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan encouraged Ayhan Oğan, a former member of the Central Decision and Administration Board (MKYK) of the Justice and Development Party (AKP), to say that a new state was being founded in Turkey.
Kılıçdaroğlu’s remarks came during a CHP municipalities meeting in Ankara.
“Now we are founding a new state. Like it or not, the founding leader of this new state is Tayyip Erdoğan,” said Oğan, during a program aired by CNN Türk on Thursday evening.
Criticizing Erdoğan for not dismissing Oğan from the AKP, Kılıçdaroğlu said Erdoğan was responsible for Oğan’s remarks.
“’A new state is being founded. The leader of this new state is the chairman of my party,’ he said. A tactless person. An immoral person. A person who does not respect his history. Do you know how the Turkish Republic was founded? Was the Turkish Republic founded in palaces and by kneeling down? The Turkish Republic was founded with pain, blood and tears. It is not his fault, it is the fault of the person who made him say it. Let’s hear the chairman of his party, let’s see what he says. What is your opinion of this man? You gave him this courage,” said Kılıçdaroğlu.
Erdoğan rebutted the claims of the AKP member about the “new state” on Monday and said: “We do not have any other state than the Turkish Republic. No matter who says what, it is all a story.”
On Sunday Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım reacted adversely to Oğan’s remarks, in a speech in Sivas province: “Are you joking? The state known as the Turkish Republic was founded on Oct. 29, 1923.”
He added that “what is said on TV programs and by TV commentators is not binding on the AKP.”
AKP deputy Selçuk Özdağ on Sunday said “Our regime is a republic, the name of our state is the Republic of Turkey. Its founder was Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. The greatest leader of 95 years of politics after Mustafa Kemal Atatürk is our president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. In my opinion, [Erdoğan] is the last of the Mohicans.”
Debates over the regime in Turkey have been on the agenda since constitutional amendments bringing an executive presidency were approved in a referendum on April 16.
A ruling AKP deputy, Metin Külünk, said on Jan. 13 that the switch in Turkey to a presidential system would disable the “bureaucratic oligarchy” in the country and take revenge for the last 200 years.
Claiming the Republic of Turkey had come to an end, another AKP deputy, Tülay Babuşçu, said in 2015 that the” 90-year-long commercial break of a 600-year-old empire is now over.”