As Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu's convoy was attacked by PKK terrorists in the northeastern province of Artvin on Thursday, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım immediately called Kılıçdaroğlu to express their sympathy and get more information on how the incident took place. With many politicians including deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş, deputy Prime Minister Lütfi Elvan and Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu condemning the attack, CHP deputies Deniz Baykal, Mehmet Bekaroğlu and Utku Çakırözer told Daily Sabah on Friday that the attack targeted the democracy, stability and unity of Turkey. While Interior Minister Efkan Ala stated on Thursday that the attack was carried out by PKK terrorists and security forces have launched counterterror operations in the region, the CHP delegation and Chairman Kılıçdaroğlu were unharmed in the incident. Interior Minister Ala also said that it does not matter who the terrorists targeted, stressing that it was an attack on all people, while thanking Kılıçdaroğlu for his calm stance.
Following the failed coup attempt on July 15, Turkey's political parties have established a new political trend of unification, which has continued since the major Democracy and Martyrs' Rally at Istanbul's Yenikapı Square. Prime Minister Yıldırım, in that perspective, has repeatedly vowed to maintain the unity established at Yenikapı, noting that Turkey has opened the gates to unity, togetherness and reconciliation. While the coup attempt by the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) was dispelled, the terrorist organization PKK has recently increased terrorist attacks throughout eastern and southeastern Turkey.
The recent terror attack on CHP figures has been described as a direct assassination attempt on Chairman Kılıçdaroğlu's life, aimed at disturbing Turkey's unified stance. In that respect, former CHP chairman and Antalya deputy Baykal stressed that he is deeply concerned, stressing that the attack proves that terror incidents in Turkey have evolved into another phase. "[This] is beyond the terrorist attacks that used to be launched to express an ideology, evolving into what we now see as assassination attempts. I am deeply concerned with the incident as I believe that such an attack [had it been successful] could have caused deeper problems," he added. As Baykal urged putting an end to such "madness," he stressed that those who rely on terror attacks will not reach the goals that they desire. He added to his remarks by stating that Turkey cannot be shaped through terrorism or assassination attempts, stating, "an inclusive solidarity is needed in Turkey that would further strengthen the country, this is important… Of course, within solidarity, politics will not lose its significance while the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) remains as the ruling party and opposition parties remain as the opposition." He closed his remarks by stating that such assassination attempts could cause an Alevi-Sunni conflict and are unacceptable.
Adding to Baykal's remarks, CHP Istanbul deputy Mehmet Bekaroğlu clearly noted it was an attempted assassination against Kılıçdaroğlu, saying that it was prevented due to the high security measures that were taken by officers. "The attack was clearly aimed at disturbing Turkey's stability and the CHP's responsible stance which was displayed following the coup attempt." Underlining that the Alevi-Sunni matter in Turkey is a fault line that has been disturbed both previously and now, Bekaroğlu said that politics must not be attempted through individuals. Also, commenting on the terrifying attack on Kılıçdaroğlu, CHP's Eskişehir deputy Çakırözer stressed that it was an assassination attempt not only against the party chairman but on the entire country. "I believe the attack was not done against only our party chairman but rather Turkey's peace, tranquility and unity," Çakırözer said, adding that it was also due to the CHP's clear stance against terrorism. In the context of reconciliation and dialogue that was established in Parliament following the July 15 coup attempt, Çakırözer noted that the attack aimed to deflate the spirit of July 15. Similarly to Çakırözer, both Baykal and Bekaroğlu stressed that former columnist at Gülenist Today's Zaman Ergun Babahan's tweet was unacceptable. Babahan's tweet that came shortly after the attack against Kılıçdaroğlu said, "All who support fascism will pay for it. Including Kılıçdaroğlu. This is just the beginning."