Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Tuesday posted a tweet in which he accused a mainstream opposition alliance formed in advance of Turkey’s approaching local elections of operating under the guidance of terrorist groups.
Established at the initiative of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), the Good (İYİ) Party and the Felicity Party (SP), the Nation Alliance aims to cooperate against Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in elections slated for March 31.
Erdoğan’s tweet presented an infographic comparing the Nation Alliance with the Public Alliance (Cumhur İttifakı) that the AKP formed with the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).
“Two alliances are confronted in Turkey today,” the tweet said at the top, while the infographic referred to the Nation Alliance as an “Abasement Alliance” through a play on words between “millet” and “zillet.”
Erdoğan claimed the Nation Alliance is directed by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party and the faith-based Gülen movement, which the Turkish government labels as a terrorist group and accuses of masterminding a 2016 failed coup.
“The objective [of the Nation Alliance] is to carry partners of terrorist groups to municipal councils,” the tweet said.
Good Party Chairwoman Meral Akşener reacted in a written statement to Erdoğan’s tweet, denouncing it as an “unacceptable insult to half an entire nation.”
“We know the reason behind this tone. This is a language that tries to whitewash their own vicious alliance,” Akşener said.