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Mar 09 2019

Turkey’s Erdoğan tells opposition leader she might find herself in prison

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Saturday that he filed a legal complaint against Meral Akşener, the leader of the country’s nationalist Good Party (İYİ) Party, warning the opposition leader that she might go to jail, opposition news outlet Oda TV reported.

Erdoğan’s statements follow an election rally  this week in the western province of Denizli where Akşener said Erdoğan talked as if Turkey was heading to war instead of municipal elections. “He became spoiled, he became arrogant, he was saying he was among you [the people], but now he is travelling with 300 bodyguards, with 20 different cars in order to conceal which one he is in,” she said.

The Good Party and the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) formed an alliance for the upcoming local elections on March 31 and have been organising joint rallies across the country.

Erdoğan said on Saturday that Akşener’s comments were indecent and that he had filed a legal complaint against her, while speaking at a mass rally in the eastern province of Elazığ.

Pointing out that Akşener was not an elected lawmaker and therefore had no parliamentary immunity, Turkey’s strongman said that the Good Party leader had “no place to hide.”

“Look at the ones serving time in prison, the FETÖ members serving time, you can find yourself in the same position,” Erdoğan said.

Turkish government accuses Gülen movement, a religious group, of orchestrating a coup attempt in 2016 and labels it as a terrorist organisation, FETÖ. Ankara has launched a massive crackdown against the devotees of the group following the coup attempt and thousands of Gülenists, including public servants, have been prisoned over terror related charges.

Akşener responded to Erdoğan on Twitter. “Are you threatening me for abiding by righteousness, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan?” she asked, adding that she’s not afraid of threats by Turkey’s strongman.