Turkish PM, Tayyip Erdogan.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The head of Turkey’s main opposition party in parliament likened Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to 20th century fascist dictators.
According to Today’s Zaman, Kemal Kilcdaroglu is quoted as telling deputies from his Republican People’s Party (CHP) that the Turkish premier, who has consolidated power by stifling dissent in the press while undercutting rivals in the military and other key centers of power in Turkey, is following the same path of Hitler and Mussolini.
“Hitler was elected by popular vote,” Today’s Zaman
quotes him as saying. “Mussolini was elected. They were elected, but after a while, they started to see themselves as the state. And humanity had to pay a very high price. Such events also took place in our democracy. We sent prime ministers, young people to the gallows. Supremacy of law is a most important concept. Everyone should internalize it.”
“We support a Turkey in which all our citizens are happy, regardless of whether they voted for us,” Kilcdaroglu said. “There is a formula for happiness, friends. The rule of law. A democracy that works like a clock. If we can manage to create these, we will surely have ensured Turkey's happiness and peace in the country.”
“The person who sits in the seat of the prime minister should go on and read and learn about what rule of law means,” he said.
The CHP is a Kemalist party which describes itself as “a modern social-democratic party faithful to founding principles and values of the Republic.”
Last month, Erdogan declared victory in local polls that had become a referendum on his rule and said he would "enter the lair" of enemies who have accused him of corruption and leaked state secrets.
"They will pay for this," he said.
Erdogan, fighting the biggest challenge of his 12-year rule, addressed supporters from a balcony at AKP headquarters at the end of a long and bitter election campaign in which he has labeled his opponents "terrorists" and an "alliance of evil."
The harsh tone of his balcony address suggested he felt he now had a mandate for strong action against his enemies. "From tomorrow, there may be some who flee," he said.Reuters contributed to this report.