A former senior official of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) criticized Chairperson Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu for making baseless allegations to change the course of the political agenda as the party was recently shaken with a rape scandal.
“Hopefully he can prove his claims this time, so Turkey’s problems can be resolved,” former CHP Chairperson Yılmaz Ateş said in a tweet on Sunday, in response to Kılıçdaroğlu’s claims earlier this week that he and his family were being wiretapped.
“My family cannot take up arms and protect me. They think all problems will be solved when they get rid of one person but on the contrary, Turkey would enter a chaotic period,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.
Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu quickly rejected Kılıçdaroğlu’s claims and said they were a smear.
“If Mr. Kılıçdaroğlu suspects that he or his family are being followed or wiretapped, he should contact public prosecutors’ offices rather than media outlets,” Soylu said, adding that all necessary steps would be taken after such a criminal complaint is filed.
Ateş noted that Kılıçdaroğlu was trying to divert attention from the rape scandal, involving the party’s deputy chair in Istanbul’s Maltepe district on the Asian side.
He continued by skeptically saying that Kılıçdaroğlu deserves applause for camouflaging his silence on the sexual harassment scandal.
The CHP is accused of covering up sexual assault allegations after a district deputy chair was detained on suspicion of rape, with some members raising their voices against sexual assault among party members.
Maltepe district Deputy Chairperson Umut Karagöz was arrested after being accused of sexually assaulting a 23-year-old woman in a washroom last month.
Former CHP lawmaker Barış Yarkadaş claimed in a series of tweets that similar incidents have taken place in other districts of Istanbul, including Ümraniye and Sultangazi.
Ateş said Kılıçdaroğlu has made it a habit to make allegations that he cannot later prove. For instance, he referred to Kılıçdaroğlu’s claims when he said there were 180 Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) lawmakers in the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) or when he said there had been a CHP member who visited President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to receive funds to establish a new party, all of which he never proved.
A former deputy chair of the CHP, Ateş was from the party’s so-called neo-nationalist wing, which lost the intraparty power struggle nearly a decade ago.
He was dismissed from the party after saying that the party was unable to stand up against the FETÖ-led sex tape plot, which toppled former Chairperson Deniz Baykal and replaced him with Kılıçdaroğlu.