PES decries gangster threats against Trukish CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu


Child Union

File photo: PES President Sergei Stanishev (left) during an official meeting with the opposition leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu (right) at the CHP Headquarters in Ankara, Turkey

The Party of European Socialists decries the threatening remarks from a convicted Turkish criminal, Alaattin Cakici, against the leader of the PES-associate Republican People's Party (CHP), Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu. Alaattin Cakici publicly warned the leader of the biggest opposition party in Turkey to “watch his step” following a political statement by Mr Kılıçdaroğlu.

PES President Sergei Stanishev said:

“These remarks are unacceptable and unworthy of respectable public life. No convicted criminal belongs in politics.

“A man with a criminal record cannot decide what can and cannot be said by a leader of a legitimate political party. Kemal is a strong leader who has the perfect right to express political opinions and criticise other parties’ positions on behalf of his electors.

“We call on the justice minister and the Turkish government to respond to these threats and support Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu. We call on the Turkish justice system to swiftly respond to the criminal complaint filed by Kemal.”

Alaattin Cakici is a multiple criminal who has recently been freed by the Turkish authorities in a bid to empty Turkish prisons in the wake of COVID-19. He has close ties to the leader of the Turkish nationalist party, MHP. His verbal attack against Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu is a part of a wider intimidation campaign against the leader of the opposition.