Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has accused the country’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) of being in alliance with several “terrorist” organizations as well as Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, the Sputnik news website reported on Monday.
Speaking at an election rally in the southern Turkish province of Hatay, Çavuşoğlu said: “There are members of the DHKP/C [People’s Liberation Party/Front] and the PKK [Kurdistan Workers’ Party] among your [CHP] mayoral candidates. You are in alliance with the PKK, FETÖ [a pejorative term used by the Turkish government to refer to the Gülen movement], TİKKO [Communist Party of Turkey/Marxist–Leninist] and all other separatist, traitorous organizations. … You run after Assad, who massacred Bayırbucak Turkmens. Is this your understanding of nationalism?”
Turkey will hold local elections on March 31.
The Turkish government frequently adopts a more nationalist discourse ahead of the elections in order to woo nationalist voters, and it is very common for it to associate its critics with terrorism or terrorist organizations.
The Turkish government also accuses the Gülen movement of masterminding a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016 and labels it a “terrorist organization,” although the movement strongly denies involvement in the coup attempt or any terrorist activity.