President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan yesterday criticized the main opposition Republican People's Party's (CHP) cooperation with the pro-PKK Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) ahead of the June 24 elections, saying that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) has never been associated with a political wing of a terrorist organization to get "a few more votes."
"Currently, we're in a struggle for the sake of our nation. We're not waiting for permission from anyone for what we do. We have already got our permission from our nation," Erdoğan said during his rally in the northern province of Samsun, while adding that the CHP's presidential candidate Muharrem İnce makes his decisions with direction from the U.S. or the western province of Edirne, referring to the northwestern Turkish province, where HDP chairman Selahattin Demirtaş is currently in prison for alleged terror-related charges.
The election process has witnessed the CHP getting closer and closer with the HDP. Last month, CHP's presidential candidate Muharrem İnce visited Demirtaş in prison.
İnce's wife Ülkü İnce also visited Demirtaş's wife Başak Demirtaş at their home late Monday after the CHP candidate's campaign meeting in Diyarbakır.
The HDP has come under fire for close links to the PKK, which is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU. Members of the party have so far declined to call the PKK a terrorist group and have attended PKK militants' funerals, two of whom were suicide bombers that killed dozens of civilians in multiple bombings in Ankara.
Erdoğan also pointed out the investments that are planned for Samsun, in particular the city park planned to replace an old stadium in the province, "just like in London and New York," he said.
As part of the AK Party's election declaration, Erdoğan has vowed to build grand city parks in many provinces, with the most famous one being the city park project in Istanbul. The city park in Istanbul will be built where Atatürk Airport currently stands. With the opening of Istanbul's third airport this fall, Atatürk Airport will be transformed into a city park. Erdoğan also added that high speed train projects will continue.
Speaking on the AK Party's struggle against violence against health workers, Erdoğan underlined that any violence targeting patients and health workers will not be allowed, while indicating that a city hospital is being planned for Samsun.