Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Istanbul head Canan Kaftancıoğlu came under fire for exploiting the photo of Syrian refugee child Aylan Kurdi, whose dead body washed ashore on a beach at the Turkish resort town Bodrum a few years ago. She was criticizing the government for an unrelated issue.
Presidential Spokesperson Ibrahim Kalın criticized Kaftancıoğlu’s post, which included a photo of the refugee child with a caption saying “Where is $128 billion?” by saying that Kaftancıoğlu exploited the dead body of a toddler for her dark politics. He continued by saying that such a mentality has nothing positive to contribute to the country.
Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gül also slammed Kaftancıoğlu, as he said she used the dead body of an innocent child for her dirty politics.
“The soul of baby Aylan will beat this evilness,” he said on Twitter.
The Minister of Family, Labor and Social Services Zehra Zümrüt Selçük also criticized Kaftancıoğlu for using the innocent baby’s body for her ugly political ideology.
“This is not politics, this is not humanity at all,” she said.
The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) lawmakers recently questioned what they say was $128.3 billion (TL 1.04 trillion) of the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey, (CBRT)’s reserves that were sold via state banks in 2019 and 2020, during the period of former Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak, and how the sales were managed.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan himself has defended Albayrak’s policies, saying they helped Turkey to ride out the coronavirus pandemic-related shocks, slamming the CHP campaign.
The CBRT’s net forex reserves stood at $9.9 billion on April 9, the lowest since April 2003, central bank data showed.
The main opposition CHP has in recent months demanded to know at what rate the sales took place and to whom.
Elvan said the transactions were legal under a 2017 Treasury Ministry protocol, and mirrored examples in other countries. He said no one could be accused of corruption and dismissed claims that President Erdoğan gave the order for the sales.
CBRT Governor Şahap Kavcıoğlu Friday said that the monetary authority conducted the forex transactions within the market conditions.
All transactions took place at market prices and no bank or firm received “privileged” treatment, the governor noted, suggesting that none of the bank’s assets were lost.
Kavcıoğlu also stressed that the bank had signed a protocol with the Treasury Ministry in 2017 to coordinate forex purchases and sales, which had helped prevent unhealthy price formations and maintain a supply-demand balance in financial markets.
The CHP's Istanbul head has been a highly controversial figure in Turkish society over questionable comments and actions. She previously expressed support for the PKK terrorist group's leader Sakine Cansız, who was assassinated in Paris in a likely internal feud in 2013. Two days after the murder, Kaftancıoğlu wrote on her Twitter account that "humanity is lost," citing one of Cansız's statements on women.
She has even seen strong backlash from the CHP's own voter base but kept her seat despite serious challenges. During the campaign period for the March 31 elections, she announced that she would be resigning from her post in reaction to the choice of mayoral candidates. However, she later withdrew her resignation. The CHP was criticized for its unofficial alliance with the pro-PKK Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) in the local elections.
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