CHP deputy chair appears on pro-PKK channel, draws criticism
by Daily Sabah
ISTANBULMar 15, 2016 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Daily Sabah
Mar 15, 2016 12:00 am
As the repercussions of Sunday's car bombing Ankara continue, main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Deputy Chairman Sezgin Tanrıkulu, a deputy for Istanbul, raised eyebrows when he appeared on a program on the PKK-affiliated Germany-based MED Nuçe TV channel earlier on the same day as the attack. His appearance on the channel drew criticism on social media.
Although he dismissed critics, saying that the program was a pre-recorded broadcast and was not live when the bombing took place, he did not deny that he was on the program.
Tanrıkulu is among the members of his party that promotes having close links with the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), something that has also drawn a reaction from several CHP figures.
CHP Antalya deputy Deniz Baykal, a former party chairman, previously criticized some deputies and members of the party for being in close collaboration with the HDP. He shared some photos on his official Twitter account in February of several CHP deputies to criticize their pro-HDP position in the party.
The photos include images of Tanrıkulu and Mahmut Tanal, another CHP Istanbul deputy, at the funeral of a PKK terrorist. In another photo, Tanrıkulu is also seen with HDP Mersin deputy Ertuğrul Kürkçü on a plane.
Previously, CHP Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu came under fire after making a statement in December in which he called terrorists who dig ditches in urban areas in the country's southeastern provinces "friends."
In a live debate on Habertürk in January, CHP Mersin deputy Aytuğ Atıcı called PKK terrorists who had been killed "martyrs" and allegedly justified young children leaving for the mountains to fight alongside the PKK.
These remarks were reciprocated by PKK leaders. In his column in the pro-PKK Turkish daily Özgür Gündem, Mustafa Karasu last month had urged the CHP to support them in their struggle against the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) "for standing firm in the political arena."