Mar 11 2019

Opposition will arm children if AKP loses elections, says Turkish interior minister

Should Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) lose the upcoming local elections to the opposition alliance, the latter will arm 6-year-old children and attack governor’s offices throughout the country, interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said on Monday.

"I am speaking as your brother who has been to the east and southeast of Turkey, if there is a shortcoming on the night of March 31 in the People's Alliance, then they will give weapons to innocent 6-year-old children and destroy governor’s offices,’’ BBC Turkish quoted Soylu as saying during a campaign rally in the Western province of Aydın.

Soylu’s statements regarding the opposition alliance, which includes the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP), arrive as the AKP prepares to go into the March 31 local elections under the ‘Cumhur Ittifaki’ (the People’s Alliance) featuring the far-right Nationalist Movement Party(MHP).

The AKP has repeatedly called HDP lawmakers terrorists and accused them of acting in the interest of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), an armed group that has been fighting for insurgency in Turkey for over 30 years.

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), on the other hand, has formed an alliance with the centre-right nationalist Good (İYİ) Party. The pro-Kurdish HDP does not have mayoral candidates in numerous cities, including İzmir, İstanbul and Ankara, and is tacitly supporting the opposition coalition.

Soylu went on to cal the people of Aydın to support the People’s Alliance as a message to the opposition and not grant victory to "PKK representatives.’’