Toilet seat covers become major elections issue

Published 03.06.2015 22:22

The debates are rather superficial and the language being used has become growingly offensive as the election campaign reaches a climax just a few days before the polls.

This election's campaigns have been marked with insults and counter-insults as opposition party leaders have joined forces in lambasting the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) in general and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in particular.

It is the first time that the opposition parties have targeted the head of state in their campaign criticisms and it is also the first time that the president himself has edged his way into the campaign by addressing his own rallies that seemed to attract more crowds than the party politicians. No wonder Erdoğan remains so popular in Turkey.

Erdoğan said as an elected president he has the right to be involved in politics and say what is right and what is wrong, but in general he has been seen and heard to be on the side of the AK Party.

Thus the opposition has hit hard at the president as well as the AK Party and prime minister so much so that punching Erdoğan below the waist has become normal.

All the opposition leaders have strongly criticized Erdoğan, but the controversy created by main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu topped it all when he claimed the newly built Presidential Palace had gold plated toilet seats.

All the newspapers and TV stations were full of the gold plated toilet seat controversy as Erdoğan hit back saying there are no such toilet seats at the Presidential Palace and asked Kılıçdaroğlu to prove his allegations. Erdoğan went further asking how Kılıçdaroğlu knew about such things and then asked: "Or is Kılıçdaroğlu charged with cleaning the toilets of the Presidential Palace?"

Then Erdoğan filed a court case against Kılıçdaroğlu and asked the court to appoint inspectors for a fact-finding trip to the Presidential Palace and view the toilets.

Kılıçdaroğlu tried to save the day by saying he did not directly claim there were gold-plated toilet seats at the Presidential Palace, but then decided to remain defiant as on Tuesday he told at a rally in the southeastern provincial city of Adıyaman: "I do not have a passion for palaces, I do not have a passion for making quick bucks. I also do not have a passion for gold-plated toilet seats."

Erdoğan, in return, hit back at Kılıçdaroglu, saying the main opposition leader was lying on several issues and said: "This country will not revere you as long as you do not learn to act like a proper politician."

This election's campaigns have been marked with the polarization of Turkey reaching new peaks and politicians sayings things about each other that are hard to swallow. It is hard to see how these people will look at each other in the face in Parliament or at official functions.

Once the elections are over everyone should start doing some serious fence mending and initiate a reconciliation process that will enhance social peace and understanding, or else we may be heading for more stormy days.

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