Turkish Elections: President Recep Tayyip Erdogan calls his political rival, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, gay 

Key Takeaways:

  • Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has slammed opponent Kemal Kilicdaroglu
  • According to him, the opposition candidate wants to spread LGBT rights in the country
  • The widely-watched elections in Turkey are scheduled for May 14, 2023
Turkish Elections: President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called his political rival, Kemal Kilicdaroglu of the CHP, gay promoter of LGBT rights
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has once again mad homophobic comments ahead of the Elections

YEREVAN (CoinChapter.com) — With Elections in Turkey just days away, tensions between the rival sides are running high. Faced with perhaps the hardest political challenge in his long career, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is leaving no stone unturned to retain his authoritarian grip over the country. In a move to discredit the opposition, he has now accused his main rival, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, of being gay.

Slamming the six-party grouping opposition, known as the Nation Alliance, Erdogan warned that they pose a threat to Turkish family values. According to him, discourse about gender rights is a European and American concept, which goes against Turkish identity and morals. 

“We know that Mr. Kemal is an LGBT person. CHP is LGBT, IYI party is LGBT, HDP is LGBT,”

 Erdogan claimed during a rally in the city of Giresun on Thursday, Russia Today (RT) reported. 

The long-time authoritarian leader also named all six parties in the opposition alliance, labeling them as sympathizers of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender people. 

Homophobia on the rise in Turkey under President Erdogan

This is not the first time that Erdogan has slammed sexual minorities. The LGBTQ+ community considers him as one of the most homophobic politicians. He has constantly attacked them, ordering brutal police crackdowns on protests and demonstrations. While homosexuality is technically legal in Turkey, unwarranted arrests, harassment, and mistreatment of LGBT people are commonplace in the country.

In 2017, a County Council in the Nilufer district of the western city of Bursa tabled a scheme that gave gay people more political representation. The council is controlled by Kemal Kilicdaroglu’s party CHP. Erdogan attacked the initiative and claimed the move was against the nation’s values.

Turkish elections, Turkish Elections: President Recep Tayyip Erdogan calls his political rival, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, gay 
Turkish interior minister Suleyman Soylu has called LGBT rights a “perversion”

His interior minister, Suleyman Soylu, is also notorious for his attacks on the community. Taking a page out of Erdogan’s book, he has notoriously described LGBTQ+ rights as “terrorist propaganda.

In 2021, he even described agitating students and faculty at Bogazici University in Istanbul as “LGBT+ perverts. 

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Kemal Kilicdaroglu to take on Erdogan

In March 2023, after many rounds of negotiations, the group finally elected Kemal Kilicdaroglu as the opposition’s Presidential candidate. He is the leader of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), the second-largest party in the Turkish Parliament. 

Along with the CHP, other parties in the Alliance include Meral Akşener-led Iyi Paty, Temel Karamollaoglu’s conservative Felicity Party, and Gultekin Uysal’s Democrat Party. The Democracy and Progress Party led by Ali Babacan, and the Future Party chaired by Ahmet Davutoglu are also included in the united opposition block. 

Recep Tayyip Erdogan is asking people to vote for him so that he can prevent the country from the immoral policies the opposition wishes to implement. 

“As the People’s Alliance, we are against this. Family is sacred to us. A strong family means a strong nation. No matter what they do, God is enough for us,” 

Erdogan said, referring to the block comprising his Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).

However, with his rating falling, the Turkish economy in shambles, inflation over the roof, and social conditions worsening, Erdogan will need much more than a smear campaign to retain power. 

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Elections in Turkey go beyond Erdogan’s sham moral values

This year’s elections in Turkey are much more than the sham moral values that President Erdogan pretends to care about. When the Turks come out to vote in on May 14, 2023, it will be the most consequential election in the country’s recent history. To put it bluntly, the chances of him losing the election have never been higher. 

The long-time Turkish leader is not new to politics. He served as the Mayor of Istanbul from 1994 to 1998 but lost his position after being jailed for inciting religious hatred. His arrest gave a boost to his political career. 

In 2001, banking on his new-found popularity among nationalist, Islamist Turks, he founded the Justice and Development Party (AKP). Less than two years later, in March 2003, Erdogan become the Prime Minister after landslide victories in the Turkish general elections. 

He remained in office until 2014 when he was elected President of Turkey after amending the Constitution to consolidate powers under the presidency. Until then, the President was more of a titular figure, with the real power lying with the PM. 

Under Erdogan, Turkey has slipped into a total authoritarian rule. He has allegedly murdered critics and opponents, jailed journalists, and cracked down on any form of dessert. 

There is enough anger building up against him thanks to his mishandling of the earthquake in southern Turkey in February. Over 50,000 people died in the disaster that leveled cities and left millions homeless.

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Erdogan vs Kilicdaroglu is a fight for democracy in Turkey 

Several pundits have called the Turkish elections the “most important” polls of 2023. To many, this Recep Tayyip Erdogan vs Kemal Kilicdaroglu election is a fight between dictatorship and democracy. Although in many ways Kilicdaroglu is no different from Erdogan, critics believe human rights won’t be as bad under him. 

Meanwhile, the election will also determine if Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) can retain a majority in the Parliament. Along with the elections for the President, Turkish voters from 87 electoral districts will elect 600 Members of Parliament for a five-year term. 

If Erdogan manages to win, he may still have to deal with an opposition-led Parliament. The same is also true for Kemal Kilicdaroglu, who may find himself dealing with an AKP-dominated Grand National Assembly if he secures a victory. 

For now, all eyes will be on Turkey until the results are declared. Rest assured, this won’t be an election free of corruption and muscle power. 

Turkish elections, Turkish Elections: President Recep Tayyip Erdogan calls his political rival, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, gay 

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