Justice and Development Party (AK Party) officials yesterday slammed Republican People's Party (CHP) Deputy Chairman Bülent Tezcan for insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
In public remarks on Monday in northwestern Tekirdağ province, Tezcan called the president a "fascist dictator."
At the AK Party's parliamentary group meeting Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım commented on Tezcan's remarks about Erdoğan: "I am wondering whether he is the party spokesman or the party abuser.
"If they were looking for a dictator, they should look at their own history and tradition."
AK Party spokesman Mahir Ünal also yesterday slammed CHP Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, saying the words he had used about the president were not in line with the respect and ethics of politics.
"Goodwill is important in politics. Being an opposition [party] does not mean to insult, enmity, and defamation," Ünal said.
Ünal also said that Tezcan's insults are a continuation of Kılıçdaroğlu's call for disorder on July 9.
"I call on Kılıçdaroğlu. You may continue to carry on the low language, discourse and attitude. All the bad words you used for our president's family are back at you in the same way," Ünal said, underlining that the AK Party will not be provoked by CHP's rhetoric and will continue to work to achieve its goals for Turkey.
In southern Antalya province on Tuesday, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu also criticized the remarks, saying insults of the president "are indeed against those who elected him."
Presidential spokesman İbrahim Kalın criticized Tezcan on Monday in a tweet that said: "Bülent Tezcan's rhetoric of hatred is a badge of shame for the main opposition. This is not politics, but rather hostility toward the nation's will." Also on Monday, government spokesman Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ brought up the issue when speaking to reporters after a Cabinet meeting. "If there was a fascist or a dictator in Turkey, Bulent Tezcan could not have said such a sentence. He could not even have thought such a sentence," he said.
Presidential sources said yesterday that a criminal complaint has been also filed against Tezcan for insulting the president. Tezcan was reportedly in Tekirdağ in a show of support for Ekrem Eşkinat, mayor of the city's Süleymanpaşa district who earlier also allegedly called Erdoğan a dictator.